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Over pricing? Greedy even?
December 14, 2004
5:12 pm
Gunnaknow
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I have been looking at the prices of the Connoisseur brands and I just can't get my head around the astronomical figures they are asking for. I ask myself "what on earth could they be doing to their cocoa that is so expensive to recreate? The countries they are getting the beans from are poor, underdeveloped countries for the most part and it must cost relatively little to produce very high quality beans and treat them with loving care. Or so you might think.

What is the stage in the processing that is costing so much? Is it the aging and treating of the harvested beans? Is it the chocolatiers' work in the kitchens? Is it especially time consuming to make these Connoisseur recipes? If so, what is making it so time consuming? Does anyone know the specifics?

Are these head Chocolatiers deciding that they deserve to be paid more for their work because of their creative flare, secret recipes and attention to detail or are they having to finance much higher costs in production for some particular reason?

Let me know what you think.

Just as a note, I can't see myself being happy with myself for spending so much money on a small peice of chocolate, when I know that there are millions upon millions of people in this world that are starving to death right this minute and would not care less if you gave them a Hershey's or Cadbury's bar instead of an Artisan bar. I mean who am I to scoff my face with overly expensive, decadent luxeries, whilst people are starving to death in this world? It is good to eat nice, quality foods but I believe that some things are taking it too far. I would prefer to have something of high quality that is fairly priced rather than the very highest quality, unfairly priced. Sometimes things are only priced so high because they know that some people are willing to pay any price, in order to surround themselves with the best of everything. This is just my opinion though. We are all different.

-Zero is where truth begins. Didn't you know? You can't say it wasn't obvious.-

December 15, 2004
5:32 am
Hans-Peter Rot
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Indeed, this is merely your opinion, and if you feel the need to deny yourself pleasures simply because not everyone else can afford them, then so be it. However, I think you're missing the point that everything is relative and cultural. With over 6 billion people squeezed on this planet, it is impossible to satisfy the needs of everyone according to Western society's specifications and expectations. Much of what we experience has no meaning or value in other cultures' lives, so the luxury of consuming high end chocolate might have no appeal to a Barabaig cattle herder of Eastern Africa. Cultures such as these are by no means starving, but rather they have an extreme abundance of food. So much food that a lot of them spend most of the day swinging in hammocks!

Being a chocolatier, believe it or not, is a profession, and in Western society, this is a job, something which earns income in order for that person to survive in the modern "jungle." If one were to simply settle for something that's only "good enough," then where would we be right now? Certainly not at the level of "sophistication" and intelligence we are today. The perfection of chocolate creations is by no means excluded from the pursuit of intellectual advancement, as this is not only a means of income but it reflects an individual's personality, character, intellect, talent, etc. that all contribute to everyone else's understanding of the product itself. Without the innovators and pioneers, there would be no followers, and indeed there would be no field of expertise in which to explore and survive.

And if you haven't done so already, I suggest you do some research on the production of chocolate, from bean to bar, before questioning its alleged high price. It's a highly complicated process that demands extreme care, talent, understanding, etc. that only a select few can really master. This is an art, much like painting a picture; not everyone can do it.

December 15, 2004
9:52 am
Gunnaknow
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Browser error.

-Zero is where truth begins. Didn't you know? You can't say it wasn't obvious.-

December 15, 2004
10:31 am
alex_h
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i have to agree with both of you. on one hand i find high-end chocolate ridiculously expensive, on the other hand i am willing to pay a certain price.
while your conscience might bother you, gunna, i find it hard to say that holding back stands in any direct relationship to third-world suffering. monte, i can't say i've come across your hammock-argument before, but as far as i know there is an abundance of food the world over. distribution and politics cause more pain than actual shortage.

i have set a price i am willing to spend on chocolate. anything over this price is either a rare treat or not going to happen.

December 15, 2004
11:29 am
Gunnaknow
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Browser error, again. A reply is coming. Luckily I saved it before my browser failed.

-Zero is where truth begins. Didn't you know? You can't say it wasn't obvious.-

December 15, 2004
12:32 pm
Gunnaknow
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Montegrano, you make some good points. Some things I agree with and I like the philosophical approach to your post. It's a level I enjoy conversing on.

Now ofcourse I have some disagreements aswel. I think it would be quicker if I quote you and then make my argument, if you can call it that at all.

"Indeed, this is merely your opinion, and if you feel the need to deny yourself pleasures simply because not everyone else can afford them, then so be it."

Yes, this is just my opinion. For you to state this at the very start of your post is to come across as demeaning my opinion, rather than just questioning it. You really didn't need to affirm that it was just my opinion. However, I see no real harm done, so let's move on. I only suggest that you address people from the start a little differently, if you want people you debate with to warm to you a little more, but that is your prerogative. Like I said, "no harm done".

I do not wish to deny myself anything "simply because not everyone else can afford them". I have no problem in eating foods or buying items that other people in the world can't afford. If I did then I might aswel give all my money away because it would never be used at any point. I buy nice food, fairly nice clothes etcetera, but I keep it within reason. Not because others can't afford things as nice but because others can't even afford the most basic of things to stay alive. I buy quality that is fairly priced, rather than spending double or triple that money, for the very finest items money can possibly buy. The money goes a lot further without having to deny myself pleasures at any point. This helps me do more charity work with my finances. This wasn't the issue I wanted to be focused on at all, so I just made it a note at the bottom of the post. Unfortunately, you have focused quite a lot on this point. It wasn't the main relevance in my post, when I made it at all.

I don't expect others to approach how they spend their money as I do and was not attempting to convince anyone that they shouldn't use their own financial spending preferences. I was just making a note of why I personally wouldn't contemplate spending any where near approaching £5 or £6 for 50 grams of chocolate. All things are relative. I would not expect anyone to live their own lives by any standards that were not relative to their own lives.

"With over 6 billion people squeezed on this planet, it is impossible to satisfy the needs of everyone according to Western society's specifications and expectations."

I wouldn't expect 6 billion people to all live in western standards of luxury, even in a perfect world. No, just clean water; warm clothing, enough food to live comfortably, decent shelter and childcare and medical care. Sadly over half the world's population doesn’t have all of these basic necessities in their lives. This doesn't actually mean anything meaningful to the advantaged unless they have experienced what it is like to live in such deprivation, so it is natural to expect very little to get better any time soon. However, this is not a problem that could be fixed by everyone eating cheaper chocolate and donating the money saved to charity. This is why I was not even trying to convince others to question their own spending preferences. I merely made a note of the reason why I personally wouldn't spend quite so much money on extravagances, when good things can be had for much less. I do not judge anyone else for approaching things differently. My values are only applicable to my existence.

"Much of what we experience has no meaning or value in other cultures' lives, so the luxury of consuming high end chocolate might have no appeal to a Barabaig cattle herder of Eastern Africa. Cultures such as these are by no means starving, but rather they have an extreme abundance of food. So much food that a lot of them spend most of the day swinging in hammocks!"

LOL, I could do with a simple life like that myself. A roasted goat's leg in one hand as I laze away the day in a swinging hammock.

I wasn't suggesting that a luxury chocolate bar would be of much value to other cultures around the world. I said "there are millions upon millions of people in this world that are starving to death right this minute and would not care less if you gave them a Hershey's or Cadbury's bar instead of an Artisan bar." My point was that a luxury chocolate would mean no more to a starving person than any other cheaper bar or item of food, even if they live in the western world. Food is food when you are starving, no matter where you are from. So, I agree very much with your point but it isn't something arguing a case against my own initial points.

"Being a chocolatier, believe it or not, is a profession, and in Western society, this is a job, something which earns income in order for that person to survive in the modern "jungle."

I never said choclatiers shouldn't earn a decent income to survive off of. My question was whether they were raising the price of their chocolate exceedingly high, partly in order to pay themselves more money than usual. Or whether the extra cost of their chocolate was mostly to cover much higher production costs. My initial thought was that it might be a little of both but I wanted to know if this was the case, what those extra production costs for top end chocolate might be. I thought it was a valid question to make. If someone is going to spend that much money, why shouldn't they know why it is the price that it is? It isn't a question of whether chocolatiers' paying themselves more money by selling the chocolate at higher prices is right or wrong. I think some might be being a little greedy and over pricing but that is human nature. My question was not about morals, as we are all prone to being animals of instinctive accumulation of wealth. It is natural. My question was what exactly is making the chocolate so expensive to buy, specifically. Just out of interest. You didn't give me any details on this unfortunately. Perhaps someone else might.

"If one were to simply settle for something that's only "good enough," then where would we be right now? Certainly not at the level of "sophistication" and intelligence we are today. The perfection of chocolate creations is by no means excluded from the pursuit of intellectual advancement, as this is not only a means of income but it reflects an individual's personality, character, intellect, talent, etc. that all contribute to everyone else's understanding of the product itself. Without the innovators and pioneers, there would be no followers, and indeed there would be no field of expertise in which to explore and survive."

I agree with this entirely Montegrano. Humans are only where they are today in terms of both evolutionary and technological development because of their nature to be creative, original, pioneering and inventive. The early humans evolved into brighter creatures because the occasional mutations in the genes that favoured higher creativity and intellect were advantageous mutations to have for survival, so got passed on to the next generation. Slowly becoming the norm for humans. This creativity and inventive nature is with us today and is down to many evolutionary processes. This has allowed us to create culture and it's familiar by-products of art and ever accelerating technology. It is human nature to strive for greater things. Long may it continue, as it is ultimately our one chance of creating liberation from worldly suffering.

My case was never about whether chocolatiers should strive to create the best chocolate they can. Ofcourse they should and people should be free to experience such creations. Such people are at the forefront of the natural process mentioned before. My question was not whether such creations should be made but whether they are fairly priced or not. Whether you get what you pay for, in the making of the chocolate, or whether you don't get what you pay for because the Master chocolatiers’ are over paying themselves in relation to other chocolatiers. It is a case of value for money or not. It may well be that the chocolate is fairly priced because of the exceptionally high production costs for such a product. That was my question. If this were the case, I would like to know more. The makers can pay themselves what ever they want. It is their right to do so and they may or may not be justified in their decision. I am merely asking what exactly makes such chocolate so expensive because I genuinely don't know and would like to know.

"And if you haven't done so already, I suggest you do some research on the production of chocolate, from bean to bar, before questioning its alleged high price."

Montegrano, why do you think I made this post? It was for the very same purpose, so very politely suggested by you that I do, before making any accusations. I am researching on the costs of the "production of chocolate, from bean to bar". I was hoping that I might get some information on this. Hopefully someone else will help. I have not accused anyone of anything. I have not said "chocolatiers pay themselves too much and overprice their products". I have simply asked whether this is the case or not, and if not, what part of the production is costing so much. It is a fair question to ask. Even if they did happen to pay themselves relatively excessively in relation to the production costs of the product, I never said that it was not their right to do so. Just that I would like to know whether this is or isn't the case. I would ofcourse be more pleased if this wasn't the case, naturally, as it means you are getting what you are ideally paying for. Value.

It seems that most of the things that you disagreed with me on were not contrary to what I was actually trying to say. I think you just thought I was saying some things that I wasn't. It happens very easily on the Internet particularly because the way something is said is often more important than what is actually said. If you could have actually heard me speak my initial thread you would have realised that I was merely curious and was not out to damn anyone for any of their personal choices. So, hopefully we can leave on some common ground and respect each other’s thoughts.

Regards

James

-Zero is where truth begins. Didn't you know? You can't say it wasn't obvious.-

December 15, 2004
12:51 pm
alex_h
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this discussion seems to have gotten off on the wrong foot. monte, i have to agree with james. i don't think he was trying to berate or belittle.

i myself am curious about how chocolate prices are calculated. what are the actual costs? and of course people have to make a living this way.

if i assume correctly, companies like domori or amedei (others as well) put money back into the communities where they grow their beans.
one factor i can imagine is the cost of maintaining a plantation of high-quality cocoa trees. especially criollo cacao is a sensitive plant that appears to require much care. (for more information on socio-economic or environmental aspects of chocolate production see:

http://www.seventypercent.com/.....PIC_ID=136 )

domori's organic chacao brand has some information as well: http://www.chacao.com

December 15, 2004
4:12 pm
Sebastian
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Not to get into specifics, but a single refiner, for example, can cost over 1 million dollars. That's for one piece of equipment at one step in the process. One. There are hugely significant costs associated with chocolate production, from logicstics to market prices and ratios to equipment.

December 15, 2004
4:31 pm
alex_h
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actually i find these specifics quite interesting.

December 15, 2004
7:08 pm
Martin Christy
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Look at the price per gram of cocoa solids for an average 70% bar (Lindt, Green & Black's) over a cheaper one with much less solids (e.g. Cadbury's Bournville at 39%), then compare the taste difference between a good 70% and an average one. Also keep in mind that many cheaper bars use vegetable fat, fake flavourings etc.

You get what you pay for. Artisanal production is harder, industrial production cuts corners and creates a commodity based model where growers have no power. In general origin chocolate is just that, the origin is known, the chocolate makers care more about conditions. These may be far from perfect or equitable, but they are usually better than those associated with mass produced products. Some of the fine chocolate producers are taking specific steps in this direction for a more equal distribution of monies, e.g. Amedei in Chuao, Grenada Chocolate, a new project in Madagascar I hope you will hear more about soon.

Gunnaknow, you probably need specifics, but if you eat fine chocolate you are often getting the same amount of cocoa for your money, you are getting a better, healthier product, made by people who care about the taste and the source. One way we can change the balance as consumers is to choose to buy products that might make a difference. This is an important part of the fine chocolate message. Buy the big corporate brands, and you are just supporting the status quo, buy fine chocolate and you might make a difference, oh, and it costs more!

BTW - what these browser problems you have been having?

Martin Christy
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http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
December 15, 2004
8:35 pm
Gunnaknow
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Martin, I certainly wasn't comparing the price of the very top chocolates to the very bottom in quality, like Cadbury's etcetera. I was comparing the prices between something like Lindt or Green & Blacks to the very top end. In the shops you can buy 100 grams of Lindt Excellence 70% for around £1.10. For Green & Blacks 70% it is around £1.50. These brands are certainly not the highest in quality though reasonably good. So I guess about double that is what I think should be the maximum the finest producers should ideally sell their products for. Between £2 to £3.50 per 100 grams.

Some, like Valrhona, Cluizel and others do just that. Certain others go way above that with £5, £6, £7, £8 and almost £9 per 100 grams. It is these prices that seem astronomical to me. The Valrhona or Cluizel prices are about the highest I would be willing to pay for excellent quality chocolate. Except for a one off buy to find out what all the fuss is about. That is just my choice though and I do not expect others to aproach it from any other way than that which suits them. It is their money. I just don't quite understand it, that's all.

I am glad that many of the artisan producers put money back into the regions that supply them. It is very important in an age when the gap between the rich and poor is at it's biggest ever. The ecological preservation is also much needed in a time when more and more wild life is becoming at threat or extinct.

I think that atleast 10% of the overal sale price should go back into helping the regions that supply them. Ok, so that makes a £2 to £3.50 100 gram bar end up costing an extra 20-35 pence. Even 50 pence if we really want to make a big difference. That means paying £2.50 to £4.00. Far below the £5, £6, £7, £8 and almost £9 per 100 grams that some chocolate is selling for. I just can't get my head around such figures but perhaps it is money that is mostly used on production, rather than extremely fat salaries. I hope so. I would really like to learn more about artisan chocolate production costs.

Nice to talk to you Martin.

Regards

James

-Zero is where truth begins. Didn't you know? You can't say it wasn't obvious.-

December 15, 2004
11:55 pm
Martin Christy
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I see what you mean - I think you're right that some of those top prices are inflated, though for a small producer costs can be high. In some cases, like Grenada which is £5.50 for a 113 gram bar, I think the cost is justified, given that the profit is going exactly where it should.

Also speciality costs. This is why our Rio Caribe is £3.25 for 50g. There are only 1,000 bars in the world made to that recipe - for small quantities you pay.

You have to see it like wine. There are good bottles for a fair price. There are rip offs, then there are those special wines that you know are good and you would pay more for, just to have on special occasions. For me Domori Chateau and Amedei's best would come into this category.

Martin Christy
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Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
December 16, 2004
12:56 am
Gunnaknow
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Well, perhaps for special occasions. Just not often. I might buy my first Domori Porcelana, or maybe even two for my brother to try aswel. Only because it is christmas though. I don't understand how some people can buy these types all the time though. Even if they are rich. I have read of people eating these most expensive ones as if they were normal chocolate. What a waste of money.

I am thinking of buying a 3 kilo block of Guanaja 70% for around £30 because it is of a very good quality but will enable me to get excellent value at the same time.

I have no concern about highly priced chocolates if it is clear that the extra price is mostly being reinvested back into the the region that produced the cocoa. The Grenadian you mentioned. If all the highest priced chocolates were like this then the higher the price was, the better it would be. Yet most probably don't reinvest as much of their profit back into the region as they should. Unless their actual profit isn't much after production costs. All that money just for a few grams of chocolate? I have a feeling that a lot goes into very fat salaries, even after high production costs. I would like to be wrong on this hunch. I need a way to find out more. Perhaps no one will ever be sure because you can't exactly ask their accountants for their books can you? LOL.

-Zero is where truth begins. Didn't you know? You can't say it wasn't obvious.-

December 16, 2004
5:26 am
Hans-Peter Rot
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Upon reading your post for the first time, one might view your "points," or observations rather, as a bit evangelical, in a sense. Your wording is indeed open to interpretation (and misniterpretation), which thus leads to confusion and uncertainty as to your entire perspective. I apologize if I came across as a little harsh at first, but I suppose we both suffer from the aforementioned mistake. So, to start anew, with a new light shed on perspectives...

Perhaps the reason you find it ridiculous to spend big bucks on chocolate might be due to your lack of knowledge of what producing high end chocolate really demands. Just like any gourmet or high end product, quality most often justifies price, but whether or not the product is to your liking is a completely different matter. Again, this is your perogative. Some people are much happier driving a BMW over a Ford, and if they can afford it, then what is to stop them from purchasing the former? Certainly they would not settle for "less" if their lifestlye and income could afford a car of much higher quality and status association. However, if another individual were in the same financial situation but opted for the Ford simply because his vehicle preference were not as important, then he obviously has his priorities and interests somewhere else. Perhaps he would use that money towards high end chocolate because that might be his interest and not luxury cars.

Well, high end chocolate would obviously not mean much to any starving individual, regardless of culture. Your body ulitmately dictates what you desire and what you need, so this is relative. Food is food, and if your body is deprived of it, then it will show no discrimination or favortism towards a certain type. Environmental and cultural circumstances all influence the definition of value and desire in a given culture, and our society allows for a greater variety which can be further magnified on an individual basis.

Some chocolatiers might be a bit greedy, but if you think about it, the end product has had immense time and effort invested into its creation. Not only do you have to factor in the growing of the cacao trees, harvesting, roasting, fermenting, drying, conching, molding, etc., but what about the treatment and obtainment of the other ingredients such as vanilla or lecithin? Sometimes, countries will suffer from severe weather which might damage the cacao crop, and because demand is so high and output low, then price would have to be increased slightly until the crop produces its former prosperous yield. If you want to find out more about the processes of producing chocolate, there are several web sites that offer detailed information. Also, if you visit some of the chocolatiers' web sites, they will share some of their techniques and processes. For example, Robert Linxe of La Maison du Chocolat, boils the cream for his ganache three times to create a product of unparalleled quality. Such care and devotion to just one ingredient in a product certainly would partly explain the high price of one piece of chocolate. I can do some research quickly and find some resources for you, but you can start by going to some of the web sites of the brands we discuss on the forum. Try Scharffen Berger, Dagoba, Domori, and Amedei for starters. Otherwise, just do a basic internet search, and you'll find tons of references to answer your questions.

If you think about it, chocolate is just like any other product, though. It's prone to the same marketing hype, public demand, etc. that every other product is. Of course, some chocolatiers might sell their chocolates for an insane price, but if you truly believe that the quality deserves such a high price, then its value should go unquestioned, especially if you do not mind paying the high price. Would you pay $600 for a sweater? I wouldn't, even if it was made with the highest quality kashmir. It's just not my thing. I'm happy with an $18 sweater from Nike. Sure, I understand the care and care expended into its manufacture and the quality of the material, but it doesn't have any appeal to me.

Also, Gunn, brands such as Cluizel and Domori support fair trade, which bigger brands, such as Cadbury and Hershey's, might not. They source beans from certain origins and treat workers with respect, whereas that bar of Hershey's may have been made with beans harvested through slave labor. So you see, it's not only a matter of eating the most expensive luxury chocolate around, but it's about eating chocolate from brands who are indeed humane and care about the human condition. So, these brands are actually supporting the amelioration of humanity in their actions by providing fair wages to the people who cultivate and handle their products. Not only does eating a bar of Domori make me feel good because of the purity and quality of the ingredients, but also the labor that went into it was acquired in a fair and meaningful manner, rather than through exploitative and inhumane means.

Agreed. It's not what one says but how one says it....

December 16, 2004
5:56 am
Hans-Peter Rot
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For the record (both literally and figuratively), I'm not mad [8D]

December 16, 2004
10:06 am
Sebastian
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in some instances, It's like cars. Does a bentley really cost that much to mfr? No, you can certainly buy a kia for much less if all you want is a pair of wheels to get you around. There's absolutely a certain refinement to having the bentley, and some of that cost is justified, and some of it is simply market driven. They charge that much because at some level, some people are willing to pay for it. If people didn't shell out the coin, they'd lower their price. While chocolate mfr is expensive, people certainly do make a profit on it. How much? Depends on lots of variables. Those million dollar refiners are a lot easier to pay for if your Herhsey and have the bankroll. For the small fella who only does a million lbs of finished product a year, those expenses are harder to justify if you're not independantly rich. With some of these bars, you're buying the entire experience. Hand packaged, hand lot numbered, nicely packaged, good marketing story and overall presentation. You've got technical staff who design the chocolate, who belong to a group of perhaps 100 people in the world who know how to do what we do. You've got complicated origination relationships that span multiple cultures and have to deal with mother nature, pod borers, and witches broom infestations, as well as a declining seagoing cargo availabilty that, logistically, makes it a nightmare for the little guy who doesn't container out entire ships regularly.

Don't like the prices? If consumers stop paying them, the mfrs will either exit the business or lower their prices (or lower their serving size). Like the product, but not the price? There's plenty of Kia's out there as well...

December 16, 2004
3:35 pm
Gunnaknow
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Monty, I liked your post. Thanks for the tips on how to find more info. I agreed with a lot of your points.

Sebastian, you raised some points which I didn't know before. Interesting stuff. I too said earlier that I thought prices are often only so high because they know that there are people who are willing to pay it, even if it isn't good value for money. I think that this is what drives inflation in the economy in general.

Something is worth whatever the customers are willing to pay. Including chocolate. Worth and value are different though. If the revenue largely goes on production costs and the profits are in line with the current inflation rate or below, then the customer is getting value for money, no matter how much the product actually costs. If, however, the total revenue does not largely go on production costs and the profits are too high to be inline with the rate of inflation, then the customer is not getting good value for money, no matter how much the product actually costs. The customer's money will be devalued against the product.

Atleast I think I have that right.

-Zero is where truth begins. Didn't you know? You can't say it wasn't obvious.-

December 16, 2004
10:49 pm
Sebastian
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To be blunt, most of these companies aren't in business for creating value for the customer 8-)

December 17, 2004
9:46 am
Gunnaknow
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Just as I thought Sebastian. That is one reason why I won't buy from them, except on special occasions. Lack of value is one reason and too high a price is another. Although I would be willing to spend more if the value was proven to be good and a big enough percentage of the profit went back into the regions that produced the cocoa. Companies aren't transparant for public assessment, so I won't ever be able to ascertain value for money and percentage of profits reinvested into cocoa producing regions, however. Therefore, I will only buy high quality at very competative prices, which means bulk buying in blocks. Now all I have to do is sample some different chocolates to ascertain which chocolate I like enough to have around for a few months in my pantry.

Does anyone have any suggestions on high quality chocolate that is sold in kg's rather than grams? I am interested in the Valrhona Guanaja 70%, which is sold in kilos. Although I don't know whether the Guanaja sold in blocks is exactly the same as the Guanaja sold in 75 gram bars. The blocks are labelled Guanaja Noir, rather than just Guanaja, which is labelled on the 75 gram bars. It's a little confusing. Are they exactly the same? Why does one have the word Noir, or black in it's label whilst the other doesn't?

-Zero is where truth begins. Didn't you know? You can't say it wasn't obvious.-

December 17, 2004
10:32 am
alex_h
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gunna, just wanted to mention that this site is dedicated to fine chocolate. no limits!
i get your point. but it doesn't really make much sense to drag the debate on much more. i understand where you're coming from, but i think most of us here are more interested in the fine part and less the price part.
but your questions are surely justified (as i think any question is).

Over pricing? Greedy even? | General Discussions | Forum