Our new chocolate bar inspired by members is revealed!

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A record number of Co-op Members have joined in to help us create our first-ever member-inspired Fairtrade chocolate bar, which will hit our confectionary shelves in the autumn.

A massive 83,000 members got involved to share ideas for a delicious new flavour combination and to vote for their favourite.

We can now reveal the winning new choc on the block is Co-op’s Irresistible Fairtrade Millionaire’s chocolate bar.

Inspired by Andrew Coleman, a Co-op Member from Devon, who told us that salted caramel always conjures up memories of holidays in Brittany, the smooth milk chocolate sweet treat is infused with caramel, a hint of salt and crunchy biscuit pieces.

Last October, more than 25,000 members joined in with the first stage of our chocolate bar discussion to help us understand their favourite flavour combinations.

Members were asked to choose their favourite type of chocolate – either dark, milk or white – select a flavouring and include up to two added extras from a list provided.

Dark and milk was members’ preferred chocolate choice with biscuit, caramel, crispy coconut, and salted butterscotch the most popular added extras. Members’ favourite flavourings were caramel, ginger, coffee, orange, and almond.

Our product development experts worked through the huge list of members’ suggestions to test out which flavours worked best, whilst ensuring we could meet our premium range guidelines and continue our commitment to 100% Fairtrade in our own-brand confectionery range.

A shortlist of four chocolate bar flavour combinations was created – Irresistible Dark Chocolate & Coconut Bar, Irresistible Dark Chocolate & Ginger Bar,

Irresistible Millionaire’s Chocolate Bar and Irresistible Caramel Macchiato Chocolate Bar.

In February, members had the final say by selecting their favourite, and a whopping 58,000 members joined in to cast their vote either online or via the Co-op app.

Claiming around a third of the overall vote, members chose the Irresistible Millionaire’s Chocolate Bar as their winner.

Our members told us how much they enjoyed turning their hand to product design and sharing their ideas to help us create a new member-inspired chocolate bar for our Irresistible range. Here are just some of your comments.

“What a lovely idea to get us to think of combinations we might want.”

Amy Cox, Brighton

“This is a great opportunity for people to participate towards a new flavour of chocolate, which gives a bit of fun to all joining in during this sad time, then buying the new chosen flavour to help support Fairtrade and others in the community.”

Sandra Wells, Newport

“It would be lovely to see something I had a hand in on the shelves.”

Susan Reynolds, Exeter

“I love chocolate! I was amazed to receive a free bar of your great quality chocolate [via the Co-op app] recently and have enjoyed the opportunity to possibly help create a new variety for your range.”

Sandra Aruwa, Bournemouth

What’s next for our member-designed chocolate bar?

We’ll be working hard over the next few months to get the recipe for our Irresistible Millionaire’s Chocolate Bar just right.

It was great to work with so many Co-op Members to develop our new Irresistible Millionaire’s Chocolate Bar. It makes it so much better to understand what our members would like to see in terms of our chocolate bar offer.

We were overwhelmed with the number of responses we received and thoroughly enjoyed reading members stories on why they had chosen a particular flavour combination.

The winning flavour, is extremely delicious, offering a sweet/salty hit with the added crunch of biscuit and smoothness of the milk chocolate. We cannot wait for it to hit shelves near the end of September! So, keep your eyes out for it and let us know what you think…we think it’s going to be a huge hit!

Ten lucky Co-op Members also won an Irresistible chocolate hamper just for joining in.

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.

Emily Haworth (Confectionary product developer) and Rebecca Liddell (Junior Confectionary Buyer)