I asked chocolatiers from eight prominent L.A. shops one question: “What is your top selling chocolate, and why do you think that’s the case?” Their responses speak to their varied clientele and approaches.
Compartes Chocolatier (Jonathan Grahm)
Compartes’ most popular chocolates are definitely our organic handcrafted chocolates made with different salt combinations. Examples include our salted caramels, smoked sea salt truffles, honey peanut butter sea salt, salted pistachio, brulee caramel and more micro-batch seasonal combinations! They are top sellers because Compartes was one of the first chocolate companies to popularize the combination of chocolate and salt (which we started doing over 10 years ago), although salt and chocolate has definitely been duplicated by many others at this point, people come here for that combo of savory and sweet especially since we do a lot of different flavors that compliment the salt, not just a salted caramel alone. We also offer our artisan chocolate bars made from single origin dark chocolate and studded with combos like smoked salt, caramelized vanilla beans and salt or even salted pretzels. Additionally, we now sell our honey + peanut butter + sea salt by the jar in store as well! 🙂
ChocoVivo (Patricia Tsai)
Top selling chocolate: Almonds + Sea Salt
2nd best seller: mayan Tradition
Reason: People tend to like salt in most everything and chocolate is no exception. Almonds tend to give it a nice richness since we are stone grinding the almonds into the chocolate. Because almonds don’t have a strong taste (we don’t use any extracts or flavoring agents), the salt helps to bring out the real almond flavor. Also, our almonds are coming from a small farm in Bakersfield and we aren’t using conventional nuts that tend to be rancid and not as flavorful.
Mayan Tradition – why it’s the 2nd best seller: Because it reminds them of Christmas and it’s a party in their mouth. They’ll taste that cinnamon first and when they think there is no chilie effect, “Bam!”, they get that surprise of spiciness. Chilies and chocolate is no new recipe as this was done over 2000 years ago. What makes our chilies + chocolate better is that it’s not overly sweet and we actually stone grind real cinnamon and chilies into the cacao instead of just mixing in these ingredients. The beauty of what we can do is really integrate ingredients together, because of our process.
Jin Patisserie (Kristy Choo)
Our top selling chocolate is sea salt caramel ganache and also we have a few chocolate cakes that sells very well as well.
It is Smokey chocolate, layer with soft chocolate sponge, crunchy croquant, smokey dark chocolate and raspberry.
John Kelly Chocolates (Kelly Green)
Our top-selling item at John Kelly Chocolates is Dark Chocolate Truffle Fudge Bites with French Grey Sea Salt. We expect the reason is the fact that there are so many people now who prefer dark chocolate over every other type of chocolate, and they like it because of its intense chocolate flavor. Our dark chocolate is indeed a very intense flavor – but when you add salt to it, the salt’s ability to be a flavor enhancer makes the dark chocolate even more intense. So in a way, it’s even more of what these people love – dark chocolate flavor – than you could ever get from regular dark chocolate without salt.
A close second is our Chocolate & Caramel Truffle Fudge Bites with Hawaiian Red Alaea Sea Salt. This flavor is a different experience from the dark – because of the mix of chocolate fudge, caramel and salt, it’s almost like we have created a new flavor that blends them all together into something unique, something that people have never tasted before.
K Chocolatier (Diane Kron)
The K TRUFFLE is our best seller (it’s a family recipe from Europe). Customers tell me that it’s “better than sex!!” PS: When I made them in NYC in the 1970’s, it was Jackie Kennedy’s favorite chocolate.
Madame Chocolat (Hasty Torres)
My top selling item is my Glitter Truffles! 🙂 I think the reason why they are so popular is because they are fun, feminine and delicious! Plus I think I’m the only one that uses edible glitter for chocolate which makes it so unique…they look like gems in a box. I’ve tried to combine elegance and premium chocolates for the gourmande!
See’s Candies (Katie Wilkerson)
While many customers have their own favorite piece, two of See’s most popular pieces are the Milk Chocolate Butter and the Milk Bordeaux. Both of these are available on our web site and in our shops. These were 2 of the original recipes of Mary See’s.
Valerie Confections (Valerie Gordon)
Our top-selling chocolate is the almond fleur de sel toffee. The balance of salt, sweet, butter and crunch has a strong appeal for our customers.