Flu-fighting chocolate captures NZ market
10 Jul 2009
An enterprising New Zealand chocolate maker has put a tongue-in-cheek spin on swine flu by producing a novel chocolate bar with a medicinal filling.
The 'Swine Flew' bar, with a flying pig wrapper design, is filled with the well known flu-fighting combination of lemon, honey, ginger and whisky.
And what started as a light-hearted gesture to cheer up local consumers has turned into a success story for manufacturers, The Seriously Good Chocolate company of Invercargill in the South Island.
Company owner Jane Stanton says she decided to experiment with the Swine Flew bar for a bit of fun. She designed a quirky label, made about a hundred chocolate bars and started selling them in her Invercargill shop and café.
Demand was so great the company had to up production, and within a week had sold more than 3000 bars in the region alone.
Now the novelty chocolate is being marketed throughout New Zealand and will be appearing in some of the country’s best known retail outlets including the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa’s shop and the upmarket Kirkcaldie and Stains department store in Wellington.
Pigs in the news
Stanton said that because of all the negative publicity surrounding pigs she decided people needed cheering up with a light-hearted approach.
Although the Swine Flew chocolate bar was designed for novelty value, the ginger, lemon, honey and whisky combination had proved very popular with consumers and Stanton says people are buying it for flavour rather than as a gimmick.
Stanton, a former teacher, has become known for producing quality chocolate based on a family recipe perfected by her grandfather, once Mayor of Hokitika, on the South Island's West Coast.
Now with a concept store and café, ironically situated next to Invercargill’s Weightwatchers’ headquarters, Stanton is taking her chocolate making business to a new level.
Novel products include wine infused chocolates using varieties from famous New Zealand vineyards like Two Paddocks owned by actor Sam Neil, and iconic ‘Kiwiana’ chocolate bars including a Buzzy Bee with hokey pokey and honey, and a Lemon & Paeroa bar filled with the legendary New Zealand soft drink.
Invercargill is home to the World’s Fastest Indian, the Bluff Oyster and Mayor Tim Shadbolt who's a New Zealand personality, and The Seriously Good Chocolate company has captured these local icons in its extensive novelty range.
Stanton says she not only wants to be different with her products but is also very keen to promote the Southland region and New Zealand’s clean green image.
"People ask us why we are based in Southland. It’s the climate, the can-do attitude of Southland people, strong values, family orientated and community support that rolls over into the business community.
"Southland is a place where dreams are made possible and my dream is starting to happen," says Stanton.
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