SEATTLE CHOCOLATE COMPANY REFRESHES BRAND FEATURING NORTHWEST-INSPIRED FLAVORS AND DESIGN

SEATTLE, Wash. (April 26, 2018) – This May, consumers will begin to see a reinvention of their favorite Seattle Chocolate bar. Not only is the brand altering its cherished bars in size, taste profile, and shape, it is debuting sophisticated new packaging designs, a new logo and tagline, and three new truffle bar flavors to celebrate its heritage as a beloved, woman-owned Northwest company. This serves as the first design refresh in ten years for the company, known for creative, gift-worthy packaging and delicious, melt-in-your mouth chocolate. The change has come about after a quarter-century of listening to and learning from brand lovers about what resonated with them most about the Seattle Chocolate—a commitment the company will maintain.

“Seattle Chocolate has always featured Northwest flavors, and they are consistently our best-sellers,” said Jean Thompson, owner and CEO of the Seattle Chocolate Company. “Rebranding is an opportunity to celebrate our roots and share the wholesome Pacific Northwest lifestyle, taste and ethos with the rest of the country. You may spot our new tagline ‘May chocolate be your umbrella’ on each of our bars, which speaks to what we’re about: chocolate as a salve and a comfort, like a little bit of sunshine on a rainy day.”

 

A Story of Design

As styles and tastes change over time, Seattle Chocolate has sought to evolve and provide a new experience to its loyal following. One element of this evolution is design. Thus, the company is debuting new, eclectic everyday truffle bar and truffle box designs in collaboration with several artists, including three from the Seattle area: Bruce Hale, Esther Loopstra and Richard Kehl, all of whom found inspiration in their Northwest surroundings to create unique designs and illustrations for the brand’s packaging.

“I have followed Seattle Chocolate for many years, have always thought highly of the brand, and admired where Jean has taken the company,” Hale explained. “I waited for the right time to step in and offer my expertise. I am really happy with the results of our collaboration and excited to see the brand reenergized.”

The launch will include “local stories” videos that will highlight how Seattle Chocolate uses local ingredients, works with local makers and purveyors, and is deeply connected to the surrounding community. In conjunction with its updated design and logo, the company will share its brand story that captures the spirit of the Pacific Northwest on the inside of each everyday truffle bar wrapper.

 

Beauty from the Inside Out

Even more important than design, Seattle Chocolate has long believed that beauty is from the inside out. Thus, the company also pursues evolution and growth with regards to the ingredients it uses and the flavors that develop, consistently crafting more delicate and pleasing profiles. Additionally, the company always uses ethically sourced, clean ingredients—many with local roots, such as mint grown in Washington’s Yakima Valley, toffee made in the Seattle suburb of Woodinville with local butter, and coffee roasted a short distance from the Seattle Chocolate factory.

Now, Seattle Chocolate is introducing a new everyday truffle bar format with a larger footprint, which yields a more delicious taste due to a greater chocolate-to-center ratio and meltable profile. The thinner format offers easier-to-share pieces without sacrificing the signature creamy, meltaway center that brand devotees know and love. This 30% larger footprint also allows customers to find the bars more easily on the shelf.

Along with the new format, Seattle Chocolate is introducing two new everyday truffle bar flavors inspired by the Pacific Northwest. The Hiker’s Trail Mix bar perfectly embodies the company’s outdoorsy lifestyle: it is filled with raisins, peanuts and roasted sunflower seeds in Rainforest Alliance™–certified dark chocolate, and features a hand-rendered mountain-themed design by Esther Loopstra. The Tukwila Hazelnut bar is made with milk chocolate, hazelnut butter and brown rice crisps and has a name inspired by local surroundings: Tukwila is name of Seattle Chocolate’s hometown and the local Duwamish Native American tribe’s word for “hazelnut.” The bar has a rich European taste profile: an ideal combination of nutty and smooth.

Seattle Chocolate has also released a brand-new fruit-forward, earthy and slightly acidic 72% Dark Origin bar. The new recipe includes the company’s own custom blend of ethically sourced, hand-selected Nicaraguan beans, made to Seattle Chocolate’s specifications by a local producer.

Seattle Chocolate’s 19 everyday truffle bars include Pacific Northwest–influenced flavors like San Juan Sea Salt, Rainier Cherry, Salted Almond and Pike Place Espresso. The company will continue to launch new seasonal designs and flavors, including this summer’s Strawberry Shortcake bar.

 

Pricing and Availability

Seattle Chocolate will maintain its collection of gift boxes, window boxes, gourmet gift bags and special hand-illustrated designs and gifts showcasing the beauty of the Emerald City. Bars can be purchased for $4.50 each, and truffles begin at $6 per box. Seattle Chocolate products can be purchased at the company’s flagship store (1180 Andover Park West) and airport store (SeaTac Airport concourse C); specialty grocery stores, including DeCicco’s, Plum Market, A Southern Season, Harris Teeter, Central Market, Raley’s, A.J.’s, Metropolitan Market, PCC Natural Market, and QFC; and online at www.seattlechocolates.com.

 

About Seattle Chocolate

Creating our first chocolate in 1992, the Seattle Chocolate Company celebrates the innovation and local flavors the Pacific Northwest is known for. Available at retailers nationwide, Seattle Chocolate Company offers a full line of premium chocolates that includes Seattle Chocolate truffle bars, award-winning Seattle Chocolate truffles, jcoco chocolate bars and a selection of seasonal and special occasion products. Using only the finest all-natural ingredients, many inspired by our Northwest heritage and artisanal spirit, to create fresh, approachable flavor-combinations, our small and mighty company is owned and led by CEO Jean Thompson, a seasoned and self-taught chocolatier. Our entire chocolate line is certified Kosher, and many varieties are also gluten-free and vegan. Coast to coast, we support neighborhood food banks and nonprofit organizations focused on the fight against hunger. To learn more about our company, our chocolates and our giving philosophy, visit www.seattlechocolates.com and www.jcocochocolate.com.

 

Media Contact

Katie Olsen

Public Relations, GreenRubino for Seattle Chocolate

P: 206.452.8175

E: katieo@greenrubino.com


jcoco chocolate unveils new Seattle tastemakers collaboration

SEATTLE, Wash. (February 23, 2018) –jcoco chocolate has recently announced a new collaboration series titled Tastemakers. This multichannel campaign will launch in late March and feature three Seattle-based culinary innovators.

These influential leaders will showcase their unique flavor inspirations, culinary points of view and favorite jcoco bar flavors, including a special new bar created by a former contestant on ABC’s The Taste, Chef Tarik Abdullah.

The inaugural lineup of influencers include:

• Chera Amlag, owner and baker at Hood Famous Bakeshop,

• Amanda Reed, beverage director of Heartwood Provisions,

• Chef Tarik Abdullah, founder of two local pop-up dining series, Morning Star Brunch and Midnight Mecca.

“We are so thrilled to partner with these talented culinary personalities right here in our backyard,” said Jean Thompson, owner and CEO of jcoco chocolate. “These tastemakers were selected because they have diverse relationships with food, as well as unique experiences with flavor innovation. By uniting the jcoco brand with partners that are aligned with our mission as a chocolatier, we hope to inspire and invite more consumers to delight in the flavor profiles that jcoco has created.”

Chef Tarik Abdullah, known endearingly throughout the Seattle food scene as “The Spice Man,” is the first culinary influencer to partner with jcoco.

Abdullah is the founder of two locally renowned pop-up dining series, Morning Star Brunch and Midnight Mecca. Chef Tarik’s cuisine is inspired by the tastes and flavors of his childhood.

He was raised in a Muslim family where foods with unique blends of spices were ever-present. His cooking ethos is a tribute to deep-rooted traditions from North Africa, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the American South. His global inspiration incorporates bold flavor combinations from these parts of the world and seasonal, locally grown ingredients.

The jcoco bar Abdullah collaborated on is called the Boharat Middle Eastern Spice Dark Chocolate Bar. A complex and versatile blend of spices, boharat is used frequently in Middle Eastern cuisine and has notes of cumin, black peppercorn, cinnamon and clove.

The Boharat Middle Eastern Spice Dark Chocolate Bar, made of the velvety 60% cacao dark chocolate that jcoco is known for, will be released in late March, at which time it can be purchased both in-store and online at jcocochocolate.com.

“Collaborating with jcoco has been an inspiring experience. I had a lot of fun experimenting with recipes that pair spices with chocolate and enjoyed bringing my culinary background to such a great company,” said Abdullah. “Jcoco’s mission of giving back to the community resonates strongly with me, so this partnership was a natural fit.”

Abdullah will also partner with jcoco for a completely chocolate-inspired installment of his much-anticipated Midnight Mecca pop-up dinner series, which was initiated in 2010.

Each Midnight Mecca dinner features a five-course menu prepared by Abdullah, cocktail pairings prepared by Damon Bomar of That Brown Girl Cooks!, live music and an art installation.

The chocolate-inspired dinner will be held on Saturday, March 31 at the Seattle Chocolate flagship store, located at 1180 Andover Park West. Ticket prices range from $85 to $125 and can be purchased beginning Thursday, March 1. To purchase tickets or for more details, please visit jcocochocolate.com.

In celebration of these inaugural Tastemaker collaborations, the jcoco team will host a Tastemaker Launch Event on Saturday, April 21 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Seattle Chocolate flagship store. Tickets will cost $30 and will include complimentary lite bites by Chef Tarik, delicious desserts by Chera Amlag, craft cocktails created by Amanda Reed, “Experience Chocolate” tours and much more. To purchase tickets, please visit jcocochocolate.com.

About jcoco chocolate

First introduced by Seattle Chocolate Company in late 2012, jcoco is a culinary-inspired chocolate brand that balances unique flavor combinations with a deep commitment to the community.

jcoco draws inspiration from cultures across the globe to create a fresh, exquisite new chocolate experience.

Owner Jean Thompson (the “j” in jcoco) and her team consult with renowned chefs to push the culinary edge, sourcing the finest chocolate, then adding intriguing ingredients to create distinctive flavors that complement, rather than overwhelm, its extraordinary taste profile.

Giving back is at the heart of the jcoco line. It has a growing network of partner organizations in communities coast-to-coast that provide a serving of fresh food to an American in need, each and every time a jcoco bar is purchased. To learn more about jcoco, please visit www.jcocochocolate.com or follow us @jcocochocolate on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.