Friday, October 21, 2005

People seem to be very excited about Target's new line of faux gourmet chocolate. Some are interested in the name. Some are interested in the idea of cheap premium chocolate. Some are interested in printing "straight form the PR flak's mouth" releases in the name of journalism.

Me. I don't care about that stuff. I care about the chocolate. And I am sorely disappointed. I bought a box of the "artisan truffle tiles," which consists of eight 1.5 inch, screen printed, filled tiles in assorted flavors. The ones that weren't that bad didn't taste like much at all, the rest were overpoweringly sweet. yech. I also purchased the "Aztec" bar. It's a sweet milk chocolate bar, infused with ancho chile and sprinkled with cacao nibs. This one wasn't too bad, but it was a snack bar, not a premium bar. They took a plain old low percentage milk chocolate bar and gussied it up with some gourmet trimmings, but it's still just a plain old milk chocolate bar.

Target is usually really good about taking someone else's ideas and making them inexpensive without blowing it in terms of quality. This time however, they have failed. The "tiles" are a late-comer knock-off of Joseph Schmidt, and although they're a quarter the price, they're still not worth it.

Choxie might be worthy of Walgreen's, but I was surprised to find it at Target. Marshall Fields, a holding of the Target (formerly Dayton Hudson) Corporation, has their own brand of chocolate called Frango. Frango was never really positioned as "gourmet," but it was the high end competitor to Fanny Farmer/Fannie May. I have to say, Frango kicks ass over this Choxie business. I guess I would have thought that Target would be capable of producing better given that they already own an excellent chocolate product.

I can't find any information on the development of Choxie. I don't know if they hired a famous chef, contracted an existing confectioner, bought or built their own facilities, but in the end it doesn't really matter. They could have done better but they didn't. I have no trouble buying my chocolate elsewhere.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marshall Field's is no longer owned by Target. It has actually been sold twice in the past year, first by May and then by Federated.

8:32 AM  
Blogger jason said...

Thanks. Obviously not enough research on my part. It could have been worse: before I wrote the post, I thought they were still the Dayton-Hudson Corporation. At least I did enough research to figure out that they had renamed to Target Corp.

2:08 PM  

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