A bit ago I received a request to review the chocolate selections from SPAGnVOLA Chocolates. Did someone just offer me chocolate?! Boxes and boxes of chocolate?! Why, yes. Yes, they did. Well, of course I said yes! A few days later I received a very well packaged box of goodies to my door. It was so well packaged that it took some time to open (kind of a small torture when you know what the contents are. hahaha). But this is a good thing! Once I got the box open, I saw that my goodies were surrounded by pillows to keep them fresh and stable during shipment. One by one, I opened each box and bar. Not one piece melted in the slightest during shipment. Impressive.
I started out with the bars of chocolate. There was a slight creaminess, which I enjoyed, and it didn’t have the overly powdered and bitter aftertastes that can be found in other brands of dark chocolate. The quality was definitely there. I noticed that it melted easily, which could be a pro and a con. The selection of bars available is extremely limited. There are no flavored bars available. This would be a great alternative for the person who doesn’t want the boxes of chocolate. Overall, I liked them very much.
After enjoying the bars, I opened the boxes. There was a large and a small box. The large box is half truffles and half bonbons (which might go unnoticed if you weren’t familiar with the company and its products). The small box is mostly a duplicate of the large box, which I found to be disappointing. If a person is receiving both the small and large boxes, it would be nicer to have a larger variety of truffles and bonbons distributed across both boxes.
Once I surveyed the box selections, I went to the website to see what other boxed varieties were available. There are corporate and seasonal offerings, but the selection is disappointing. I was also disappointed to see that there was no volume discount offered. SPAGnVOLA Chocolates falls into the category of a luxury chocolate brand. People who purchase from them have a discerning taste and a demand for the high quality products that SPAGnVOLA provides. In a corporate situation, they would likely give out the gift boxes as top tier client gifts. Offering them a wider variety of options is a great way to increase sales. Under many circumstances, it would be nice to also be able to purchase chocolates by the pound. Customers will also be required to wrap their own gift boxes, because gift wrapping is not an option that is offered.
It was really really tough, but I made it through each and every truffle and bonbon! hahaha It really took quite a while because the chocolate is delightfully rich. The decorations are beautiful and artistic – just what you would expect of a luxury brand. I thoroughly enjoyed all the flavors that were in the boxes, except for the rosemary truffle. It was very bitter with a strong burnt flavor. The passionfruit truffle had a less creamier center, which didn’t effect how much I enjoyed it, but the ooze was a bit of a surprise. The topping on the vanilla truffle was gritty and unappealing. All the other flavors, particularly the fruit flavors were “spot on” and exactly how you would imagine them to taste. The chocolate coatings were delicate and even all the way around – the bottom of the piece wasn’t thick like other brands. This impressed me very much. I was disappointed that there were no milk chocolate offerings. While SPAGnVOLA Chocolates clearly specializes in dark chocolate, the lack of milk chocolate offerings is basically giving sales away to its competitors. Having a custom box option (for a premium price) would also go a long way to increasing their sales. Giving a customer the option to select the pieces going into the box makes the purchase even more personal. People buy with emotions. This option could easily mean repeat customers on a very frequent basis.
If you’re near the factory in Maryland, SPAGnVOLA Chocolates offers birthday parties and chocolate making classes. Can you say “ROAD TRIP”?! Whether you live near the factory or not, this is a definitely something to put on your list of sites to visit. I can picture taking a drive down from New England, eating some of the really good food that Maryland has to offer and then finishing with a trip to the chocolate factory. It would absolutely be worth it.
After I savored every single piece of chocolate in the goodie box, I switched gears to put my Marketing and Public Relations hat on. If SPAGnVOLA Chocolates was a client (or client prospect), what suggestions for improvement could I make regarding their print and online materials? The website is well designed and very easy to use. The product photos are professionally done, but I would’ve like to see the products in a scene of some sort (at a corporate function, someone receiving a box of their chocolates, on a food display, etc). The website and pamphlet are exceptionally well written. Telling the story of how the company came to fruition caught and kept my attention. It made me want to buy from them, whether I needed to or not. I was unclear if the company shipped internationally or not. The pamphlets and box inserts were printed in a very high quality manner. The chart that describes each flavor was far too small to decipher in both the pamphlet and on the box insert. The product decoration in the boxes doesn’t always match what’s pictured. This can lead to some surprises in terms of what flavor you’re eating. And lastly, the products are not in the same order as they are on the box insert, making the selection process a bit of a scavenger hunt.
After all is said and eaten, I think that SPAGnVOLA Chocolates is a great purchase. Anyone who receives them will absolutely feel special (and maybe even a little spoiled). It’s a chocolate company that 100% deserves its luxury market status.
- - Ease of ordering process
- - Corporate gift options
- - Almost no aftertaste normally associated with dark chocolate
- - Both sweet and savory flavor options
- - Free shipping on all orders
- - Melts easily
- - Limited shipping options
- - No gift wrap option
- - Quantity of corporate and gift box options is limited
- - Customer can't choose selections for boxed selections