Approx 640 words.
Thousands of Co-op Members turned their hand to product design to help us create a new member-inspired Fairtrade chocolate bar. And it was Andrew Coleman’s flavour combination that was voted the favourite. As Co-op’s Irresistible Fairtrade Millionaire’s chocolate bar hits the shelves, Andrew, a member from Devon, explains the idea behind his winning creation.
I noticed in a monthly email last October that Co-op was looking for members to help create a member-inspired Fairtrade chocolate bar, and it was my sweet tooth and love of chocolate that encouraged me to get involved.
I’m a big fan of Co-op’s Irresistible Fairtrade chocolate range. I really like the white chocolate vanilla combination as it’s both simple and sophisticated at the same time.
The idea of inspiring a new chocolate bar – and winning a box of the new sweet treat – really stood out from many of the prize draw competitions I’ve entered over the years.
It was fun to join in, and the survey didn’t take up more than a few minutes of my time.
All I had to do was share my favourite flavour combinations by choosing a type of chocolate – either dark, milk or white – select a flavouring, include up to two added extras from a list provided, and explain a bit about why I had chosen the combination.
It’s nice that members can be actively involved in creating new products. I felt a bit like Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!
I rarely buy dark chocolate but knew a milk chocolate combination is something I would buy, so I decided to go with my first instincts and not overthink it. I chose milk chocolate with caramel, salt, and biscuit because it conjured up memories of holidays in Brittany. I also thought the flavours and textures would work very well together.
Living in the South West, it’s fairly easy to get to Brittany from Plymouth for a few days or even just a 24-hour day trip to do some grocery shopping.
When there, I always make time to visit a crêperie and invariably choose salted caramel crêpes for dessert. It always seems like the obvious choice when enjoying the sea air and Brittany’s beautiful coastline.
My initial thought was that my flavour combination might not be sophisticated enough to stand out from the rest of the 25,000 entries, so I was surprised to find out that it was one of four to be shortlisted.
With more than 58,000 Co-op Members getting involved in February to vote for their favourite flavour either online or via the Co-op app, I was again very pleased and surprised to learn that what I thought was a very simple combination with no chance of winning, had appealed to so many people!
After receiving an exclusive ‘sneak-peak’ box of the chocolate bars as my reward for joining in and inspiring the winning flavour, I can now say the chocolate and the flavour combination doesn’t disappoint. The chocolate was very well received by family and friends who made very short work of polishing it off!
I really like the colourful and abstract design of the chocolate bar packaging too.
It makes me feel that this is a premium product and the smooth milk chocolate infused with caramel, a hint of salt and crunchy biscuit pieces’ description has added a level of sophistication to the flavour combination that I hadn’t envisaged when I entered this competition.
It feels a bit surreal to know that I, and 83,000 other Co-op Members, have had some input in creating this chocolate bar, which will hopefully be enjoyed by Co-op customers up and down the UK.
It’s a bit like a Dragons Den moment. You’ve made your pitch and now the product’s going to market!
I don’t think the ‘I helped to create that’ feeling will sink in until the Co-op Irresistible Fairtrade Millionaire chocolate bar appears on shelves in my local Co-op stores in Willand and Norton Fitzwarren this month.
There are always opportunities for Co-op Members to get involved in shaping Co-op products. Find out what’s available now by joining in on your online Membership account.