In this post, we are reviewing Takal chocolate and its success as a brand in Ecuador. The package says the product is a chocolate ball for grating and is made in the tradition that dates back 600 years and that they make their chocolate from premium ingredients. At first glance, what stands out is their striking packaging with a pre-Columbian design that transports us to a culture of the past. We will review the actual chocolate and we will take a look at the ingredient deck. Finally, we will follow their instructions and make some hot chocolate and give it a taste.
Presentation of Package & Chocolate
The package appearance is bright and colorful making it easy to spot on the shelf—standing out from among other quality brands and lending itself to appeal to an upscale market. The package is an easy-to-open box featuring an artistic figure of a man from the Chorrera culture in Ecuador. In addition, the outside of the packaging gives a brief story about Arriba cacao and a couple of lines about its cultivation in ancient cultures adding to the romantic feel of this brand.
The shape of the chocolate is unique—the Takal chocolate inside is a large molded oval of chocolate designed to be grated before making the hot chocolate—the chocolate oval being a reference to how chocolate would have been hand molded in a past era giving the product perhaps a romantic feel. The consumer must then interact with the chocolate and grate the recommended 22 grams of chocolate to make their drink. I think the grating of the chocolate is what makes this product unique. Because of this interaction, the consumer is forced to interact and engage with the product—thus, they become part of the experience.
Takal Chocolate TastingThe chocolate melted easily in the hot milk on the stove using a simple whisk. We then poured the hot chocolate into our mugs expecting a nice aroma but truthfully we were both disappointed at the absence of any notable aroma. We then drank the hot chocolate, the taste was similarly mild. After sipping, it did have a bit of a fruity flavor, perhaps from the artificial flavoring, that lingered at the back of the mouth after sipping.
Summary & Pricing
The hot chocolate itself was smooth but perhaps lacking in flavor. The striking upscale packaging, the romantic story on the outside of the box, the rolled chocolate inside, and the necessary interaction with the chocolate harkens back to a time gone by and transports the consumer to a different time and place.
On the ingredient label, we see the following listed: dark chocolate 70% (Liquor de cacao, sugar, soy lecithin), modified corn starch, artificial fruit flavor and xanthan gum.
Retail price: $10.25
Product weight: .48 pound (220 grams)
Price per gram: .04659
Price per pound: $21.10