ZURICH (Reuters) - Nestle NESN.VX is launching a new brand of luxury chocolates selected to match individual preferences that consumers will order online.
“What we are offering is the perfect personalized chocolate,” says Cedric Lacroix, director of Nestle’s Chocolate Center of Excellence in Broc, Switzerland.
Nestle, the world’s biggest food group and global leader in dark chocolate, opened the research center in Broc in 2009 and has said the economic woes of recent years have not hurt demand for premium chocolate much, calling it an “affordable treat” in difficult times.
The Swiss group presented its new chocolates at its 9-month press conference in Paris, asking journalists to taste different flavors and handing them little slips of paper to help them remember their chocolate identity.
Nestle said consumers will first order a box of five “tasting” chocolates with hints of milk, caramel, nut, fruit, flowers and vanilla to determine their preferences which they rate online following a set of instructions.
“Chocolate has certain attributes that people distinguish in different ways. It is like tasting wine,” Lacroix said.
The Nestle Maison Cailler brand will then use the results to make a selection that suits an individual’s taste from a set of 12 different chocolates that are sent directly to the consumer from the factory in Broc.
“We will be able to fine tune the Maison Cailler offering according to consumer feedback,” Lacroix said.
The recipients can then share their favored “chocolate personality” with friends through their Facebook profile.
Maison Cailler, which will launch at the beginning of 2012 in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, also plans to set up “profiling stations” for its chocolates at a number of locations around the country, such as five star hotels.
Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by David Cowell