hf Chocolates supply fine quality chocolate and confectionery to the retail trade and others who wish to buy wholesale quantities. Our 2017-18 Main Brochure and 2017 Christmas Brochure are now available.

If you are a logged in user, you can download PDF versions of all our brochures from our Brochures page, including our new 2017Christmas Brochure and new 2017-18 Main Brochure. The products shown on this website have not yet been updated to show our new range of products and prices. This means if you place an on-line order on this website, we regret that some of the products may no longer be available or the prices might be incorrect. If this is the case we will contact you to let you know of any changes before we fulfil your order. We are planning to update the products and prices as soon as we can.

If you would like copies of our latest brochures, please contact us and we will be happy to post them to you.

Our Mission

We offer you a range of chocolate and sweets that will satisfy the taste buds and look stunning on your display shelves. Boost your sales with a selection of our wholesale confectionery.

Excellence & Value

When you choose us to be your sweets and chocolate suppliers, you get superb quality at great prices to help you make the most of your confectionery business.

Expert chocolate suppliers: Wholesale confectionery to tempt your customers

The Range

As speciality chocolate suppliers we are known for our wide range of wholesale confectionery products. We enhance our comprehensive selection of traditional sweets and chocolates with products from niche manufacturers who specialise in creating that something a little different. You’ll find all our products available at affordable prices.

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We find chocolate supplies from all corners of the world to give our clients access to wholesale confectionery products from the US, Holland, Spain, Italy, France, Germany and Belgium. At hf Chocolates we also support British manufacturers from a select group of whom we source high end chocolates. Our UK suppliers excel at their understanding of the local market and their quality is reflected in the chocolate that they supply. Selling British chocolates is becoming extremely popular among retailers who recognise that the combination of top quality and locally sourced products is a winner for their sales.

One of our missions as chocolate suppliers lies in our commitment to making sure that our customers can find a range of products that complement the traditional confectionery that we also supply. We regularly update our selection with interesting chocolates and sweets that will certainly appeal to your market. Our extensive range can provide you with that perfect equilibrium between the old favourites and something a little different.

Delivering Safely

It’s very important that any sweet or chocolate supplies that you order from us arrive in optimum condition. Our team has developed systems that include minimal handling, timed delivery slots and alerts by text to help get your product to you in a beautiful state.

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All chocolate suppliers face the challenge of getting their products to their clients without damage in transit. We are continually addressing our procedures to make sure that we are taking all the necessary precautions and we train our warehouse staff to pack your order in a way that maximises its safe transportation. Our climate control technology at hf Chocolates maintains an ideal storage temperature for the products that we keep onsite. The majority of the products are kept at an ambient temperature of 16 to18 degrees Celsius and we have a special area that is maintained at a lower temperature for certain products like nougat.

Specialist Packing Area

Sweet or chocolate supplies that you order from us can be packaged according to your individual requirements. If you want your logo or branding to be printed on the labelling of your sweets and chocolates, we can offer you an individualised service for certain lines of our confectionery products.

Make sure you consult with one of our team members at hf Chocolates to find out how we can best help you tailor your sweet and chocolate displays to maximise your business sales.

Our Experience

As sweet and chocolate suppliers it is important to us that we share our expertise about the confectionery industry with you when you order from us. Our team is trained and experienced in advising retailers about the best products and most enticing displays that they can offer their consumers.

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The team at hf Chocolates is fully committed to giving you that extra bit of support when it comes to choosing products so that you can focus your time on maximising your confectionery sales. Our buyers work hard to find the sweet and chocolate supplies to delight your customers at prices that you can afford.

We draw on our many decades of experience to give you advice as well as great products. Hans Flatauer founded the company in 1957 when he started to distribute novelty chocolate supplies renowned in Germany to the UK market. Today the company founder is commemorated in the initials of our company name: hf Chocolates.

From these early beginnings we have grown to become respected chocolate and sweet suppliers who provide retailers and trade customers with confectionery products to fill their shelves with treats for their customers.

September 2016

Christmas Wrapping: Seasonal and Gift Packaging

Brighten up your retail space this Christmas with products sporting some luxurious packaging that offers a taste of the treats to come inside the box.

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The wrapping and packaging of a gift is about more than just providing a safe container for the contents. Each added layer, whether it is tissue paper, cardboard or cellophane, delays the opener, offering a new colour for the eyes or a new texture for the fingers. Christmas provides the opportunity to market products which have special-edition packaging that is a feast for the senses.

Interesting Shapes

Christmas trees, toy chests, crackers or baubles – the festive season has a range of classic shapes and motifs that can be used to re-imagine bog-standard packaging. We love the sleek and modern Christmas shapes offered by Lily O’Brien’s this year. The red and white box of their Creamy Caramels Pyramid Tree gift pouch from the same range?

Another brand making use of seasonal shapes in its packaging is Monty Bojangles. The colours of their cracker-shaped boxes of truffles are bright and rich - perfect for drawing the eye of the browsing customer. The excitement builds as the consumer unwraps a stylish gift tag, a satin ribbon and a flourish of tissue paper, prolonging the luxurious chocolate experience.

Beautiful Designs

Luxury packaging is not only designed to attract a customer’s eye to the shelf in the shops, but to be displayed at home. Booja-Booja is a Norfolk-based chocolatier who has teamed up with an Indian company to create truffle boxes that stand out from the crowd. Skilled artisans in Kashmir craft their papier maché boxes and decorate them with intricate designs that have been passed down through their families for generations. The Artist’s Collection featured in their Christmas range make unique and collectable gifts.

For products that will brighten your retail space this winter with packaging that can’t fail to attract customers, take a look at our 2016 Christmas Brochure.

August 2015

Counting Down to Christmas with Chocolate

Advent calendars are a Christmas institution. Read on to discover the advent options you can offer your customers this season to preserve this enduring tradition.

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If there is one thing that kindles the Christmas spirit in early December more than any other festive tradition, it’s the opening of an advent calendar. Children and adults alike delight in the building anticipation as they count down the days until Santa pays his yearly visit (or until they get to crack open the Christmas sherry without remorse!).

As a retailer it is important that you have your advent calendars available for sale well in advance of 1 December, so it is worth considering now what kind of products you would like to stock.

The History

Advent calendars are thought to have come about in the nineteenth century, when Protestant families counted the days in the run-up to Christmas by drawing a chalk line for every day in December until Christmas Eve.

In the early 1900s, a German manufacturer called Gerhard Lang produced the first printed advent calendar, inspired by the Christmas calendar his mother had made for him as a child. He developed the idea, adding touches such as the little cardboard doors which are a common feature today.

In 1958, Cadbury was the first company to put chocolates in its advent calendars, creating the quintessential design that chocolate lovers all around the globe buy each Christmas.

Our Advent Options

If you’re looking to stock a classic window opener for children, this brightly coloured design from Montezuma is sure to catch the eye. For the grownups, how about this pretty. Ko-Koá calendar in the shape of a house, which has truffle and praline treats stashed away in every drawer.

There are some lovely alternatives on the market which facilitate family participation. Chocolotol offer a wooden Santa calendar which comes with three foil-wrapped chocolates in every drawer, preventing the inevitable squabbles that break out when the advent goodies have to be shared every day. This hanging advent calendar, replete with festive ribbons and bows, comes with enough chocolate balls for four in each metal.

Although Christmas is a time for sharing, Weibler produces these delightful advent chocolate bars in large and small; they are perfect for slipping into a bag for a solitary chocolaty treat on the fly.

With so many options available to suit the needs of any customer, you can be sure to find the wholesale chocolate advent calendars to stock your business at hf Chocolates

September 2016

The Ultimate Chocolate Gift Guide

Looking for inspiration? Our Ultimate Chocolate Gift Guide will recommend some products to help you stock your shelves this festive season.

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The beauty of chocolate is that it is such a versatile gift. Whether your customers prefer to get their fix from a nibble of a fun figurine or from a decadent luxury truffle, there is a chocolaty gift out there for everyone. Here are a few of our favourite selections from this year’s Christmas catalogue.

Something Luxurious

Christmas is often the time when people allow themselves something a little more indulgent than they would usually snack on during the rest of the year. Customers often spend more in December, both on edible gifts for loved ones and on chocolate for sharing at social occasions.

If you’re looking to stock some scrumptious gift ideas, take a look at Ko-Koá’s mini-cracker range. These charming cardboard crackers contain seasonal truffles, with flavours such as Irish cream and mulled wine and pink Marc de Champagne. The La Suissa Hat Box of assorted chocolates would look stunning on a coffee table at Christmas time, perfect for sharing with all the family.

Something Fun

One of our favourite off-the-wall brands is Schokolat, who craft amazingly realistic novelty chocolates. As well as offering an entire chocolate tool box for the handyman of the house, paint-splattered brushes for budding artists and secateurs for those with green fingers.

Why not market Schokolat’s chocolate wing corkscrew next to Anthon Berg’s chocolate cocktails, creating a boozy corner for the liquor lover.

Something for the Stockings

Christmas just wouldn’t be the same for children without an abundance of chocolaty gifts tumbling out of their stockings. Gina’s gold medallion stamped with a jolly Santa is stable currency at Christmas time, while Chocolotol’s range of gift packs – sets of 'Santas' 'Jingle Bears' and 'Nutcracker Soldiers' – are perfect stocking-stuffers. You could try marketing these small, individually wrapped treats together near the till to spark your customers’ memory while queuing.

If you are looking for more festive inspiration, be sure to leaf through our 2016 Christmas brochure or get in touch with a friendly member of our customer services team.

August 2016

Choosing the Best Chocolates

With such a huge range of chocolates to choose from, how can you tell which will do best with your customers? You may want to consider the following criteria.

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At hf Chocolates, we’re proud of the depth and breadth of our chocolate catalogue. However, we know that for shop owners and vendors, choosing among such a vast array can be a little tricky. If you want to create a diverse and interesting stock for your customers, there are several factors you might consider before making a choice. In the world of chocolate, great taste is just the tip of the iceberg.

How to Choose

By Cacao Percentage – Many of your customers are likely to select chocolate by its cacao percentage, that is, how much of any given bar is composed of cacao bean-derived substances as opposed to sugar, dairy, etc. For the typical shopper, a product’s cacao percentage indicates how ‘dark’ they can expect the chocolate to be – though of course not all 70% cacao bars taste the same! Give yourself good coverage by stocking a healthy range of percentages. For the cacao fanatic, Simón Coll’s 85% bar is sure to please, while Dolphin’s 60% bar may appeal to those just beginning to like dark chocolate.

Origin – Just like wine, chocolate varies broadly in flavour and body from region to region. Your most knowledgeable customers may be looking for single-origin products – those composed of cacao beans grown in a single place, rather than a blend of beans from different areas. Cacao is grown all over the world, from South America to Africa to Asia. Diversify your stock with a little bit of everything. Willie’s Cacao does an excellent job in emphasising the regional differences in their products. Their diverse range includes bars from Venezuela, Madagascar, Indonesia, and more.

Ethics – Chocolate and other foods are currently getting a fair bit of scrutiny regarding production practices, so knowledge is power when it comes to your stock. Certified fair-trade products, which promise to spread profits more equitably among cacao growers and manufacturers, are still extremely popular. Your more globally-conscious customers will be on the lookout for that fair-trade logo, so consider stocking Divine or Tohi.

Health Benefits – Chocolate has been heralded as a ‘superfood’ given its high concentration of antioxidants and other compounds, so don’t be surprised if some of your customers come looking for health-conscious products. As a general rule, darker is better when it comes to getting the full benefit of cacao. However, there are several other options on the market: raw chocolate is having a moment in the sun, as are naturally sweetened, organic, and vegan treats. Chocolate bars studded with health food superstars like pomegranate seeds, blueberries, and cranberries pack a one-two punch, so consider brands like Balance, enJoy!, Booja-Booja, and Pure.

Above all, a well-diversified chocolate portfolio is your best bet. If you’re overwhelmed with choice, don’t hesitate to get in touch – our experienced team is happy to work with you in creating the best selection for your customer base.

August 2016

Chocolate for Cooks

Cooks and bakers might well be the toughest customers for confectionery shop owners to please. Stock the right product and they’ll come running!

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If you’re a food seller or confectionery shop owner, chances are the majority of your stock is aimed at pleasing the everyday consumer: the kind of buyer who wants a quick, portable snack, a rewarding treat, or a sure-to-please gift for family and friends. True, the casual chocolate eater is likely to form the overwhelming majority of your customer base. But if you want to build a reputation for quality, consider catering to another important audience: cooks.

A Choosy Customer

Unlike the typical chocolate customer, who buys chocolate for immediate and personal consumption, cooks and self-proclaimed ‘foodies’ are often on the lookout for chocolate that lends itself well to desserts and recipes. Furthermore, these groups are likely to be more selective about quality – they will no doubt be looking for the best, purest, and richest chocolates to use in their culinary creations. So how to cater to these choosy customers?

The answer is to think simply. Don’t try to woo a dedicated pastry chef with novelties or the latest chocolate fad. Your best bet when it comes to catering to the culinary class is simply, high-quality classics that lend themselves to any number of uses.

Top Choices

If your customers are cooks, bakers, or simply passionate amateurs, chances are they’ll be looking for chocolate products that can be used as versatile ingredients. Get started with a few of these high-quality basics and you’ll quickly attract the right kind of attention.

Willie’s Cacao Chef’s Cocoa – For an intense chocolate experience, it’s tough to beat Willie’s. The brand’s chef’s cocoa comes in three varieties: Madagascan, Peruvian, and Venezuelan. Though all are 100% cocoa, you can bet your more exacting customers will be able to differentiate the tasting notes in each single-origin variety. Dark and sophisticated, this cocoa is excellent when used for dusting truffles. A pinch of cocoa can also add complex notes to gravies and casseroles.

Divine 70% Baking Bar – The bakers among your customer base will go wild for this fair trade baking bar. Velvety dark chocolate from Ghanaian cacao beans melts lusciously into cake batters, brownies, and more. Expect your shoppers to stock up once they discover the difference great baking chocolate can make. Divine also makes a white chocolate bar which likewise lends itself well to baking projects.

Simón Coll 99% Dark Chocolate Bar – One of the oldest chocolate companies in Spain, Simón Coll is known for its delightful novelties and plethora of flavours. For the serious chocolate consumer, the extra-dark 99% bar hits all the right notes. This intense bar with its subtly toasted overtones is an excellent base to all sorts of baked goods, although hard-core chocolate lovers won’t mind eating it straight!

May 2016

Good as Gold: Cacao Currency

If you’re a chocolate lover, you probably treasure and value every bar and every bite. But had you lived in Mesoamerica during the 1500s, cocoa would be your currency!

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Maybe you remember the days trading chocolates on the playground with your schoolmates – perhaps you swapped a milk chocolate bar for a handful of rhubarb custards, then you scurried away to stash your hoard for later deals. Can you imagine if all your business could be transacted this way? If you lived in Aztec or Mayan times, you wouldn’t be too far off this ideal!

The Mayans, the Aztecs and Cacao

Many people are familiar with chocolate’s earliest consumers, the Mayans and Aztecs, two groups which dominated Mesoamerica for more than 3,000 years. The Mayans were the first to grow cacao trees. They used the beans to make xocoatl, a bitter and spicy drinking chocolate not at all similar to the hot cocoa you’re used to today. But they also used the beans as a barter currency to buy clothes and food. (Contrary to popular belief, money does sometimes grow on trees!)

The Aztecs, a neighbouring people dominant in Mesoamerica from the 14th to 16th centuries, seized considerable land from the Mayans, and likewise adopted their cacao currency. Cacao quickly became the Aztec empire’s most important and valuable commodity, even ranking above gold dust at the point of the Spanish conquest.

When the conquistadors arrived in Mesoamerica in the 1500s, they were intrigued by this foreign money. Hernan Cortès wrote to King Charles V, “this seed was being used as currency for daily exchanges”. Cortès also referenced a copper hatchet being worth a whopping 8,000 beans, while rabbit was worth only ten and one hundred beans could buy you a slave.

From Mesoamerica to Europe

When the Spanish arrived in Mesoamerica, they instantly recognised the value of cacao – in more ways than one. Inspired by the traditional Mayan and Aztec beverage, the Spanish began exporting drinking chocolate to Europe – though they added sugar to make it appeal to the Old World tastes. It was an instant success. However, its rare and precious status that made it so valuable as currency made it an expensive indulgence enjoyed only by the wealthy.

Today, chocolate is still very much a luxury and a coveted commodity. From playground exchanges to symbolic chocolate coins, this ancient product is as good as gold.

May 2016

Cocoa Powder: The Key Ingredient

Chocolate is a complex food, composed of several substances that together make something delicious. But there’s only one thing responsible for that ‘chocolaty’ flavour – cocoa powder.

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What is Cocoa Powder?

You and your customers are probably most familiar with the cocoa powder in the baking aisle of your local supermarket. This fine, deep brown substance is the key to the chocolaty flavour we all know and love, but what is it?

To answer that, we need to look at how cacao beans are processed when they’re being made into chocolate products. After the beans are fermented, dried, and roasted, they are cracked into nibs and then ground into a paste called chocolate liquor. This paste is then pressed to extract the fat (cocoa butter), leaving behind crumbly solids which are then ground into powder. Voila! Cocoa powder is born.

What is Cocoa Powder For?

Cocoa powder is responsible for chocolate’s distinct flavour. All the tasting notes you notice in a bar of chocolate – fruitiness, nuttiness, bitterness – come from these brown solids. When you are choosing a chocolate range for your shop based on the quality of the products’ distinct flavours, you might find that those consumers attracted to this grade of chocolate will also be interested in high quality cocoa powder.

Cocoa powder also gets the credit for the antioxidant and flavonoid properties that are so beneficial to our health. Plus, it’s also packed with minerals like calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. You could get a huge nutritional boost from eating just plain cocoa powder, but that would not prove very palatable!

Because most modern chocolate is produced by adding extra cocoa butter to cocoa liquor, there’s virtually always a relatively cheap supply of cocoa powder. It is commonly used in baking – after all, chocolate cake would not be chocolate cake without it! – and in confectionery, especially for dusting truffles and other bonbons. If you are catering to a group of genuine chocolate connoisseurs then an ideal product to offer them would be a cocoa powder that far surpasses that available at their local supermarket.

Our Recommendations

Since cocoa powder is responsible for any chocolate product’s tasting notes, it’s important to select only the best. We feel confident we’ve done just that in stocking two different sizes of Van Houten tins of cocoa powder; delicious Barú.drinking powder with either fluffy marshmallows or crunchy caramel morsels; and Divine’s Fairtrade drinking powder.

May 2016

Chocolate with a Mission

Today’s consumers often look for products that not only taste good, but do good. As a result, chocolate suppliers are racing to stock up on delicious products with grand ideas.

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In the competitive chocolate market, great taste is no longer enough. Chocolate suppliers today might find that consumers are looking for a product whose manufacturer has a strong philosophy or set of ethics: a product that does good in addition to tasting good. We’re always pleased to support those of our manufacturers who are using their delicious products to help people all around the world.

Divine

Forty-four percent of this London based company is owned in part by a cooperative of cacao growers, taking the “fair trade” concept further than any other chocolate brand. Divine’s social mission is to create dignified trading relations between producers and consumers through the unifying power of chocolate. The mission appears to be working, as Divine scooped two big awards in 2015. Divine’s milk chocolate, toffee and sea salt bar was voted UK’s favourite fair trade product, and the company also won the Guardian Sustainable Business Award for Social Impact Innovation.

Booja Booja

Another company combining chocolate with goodwill is Booja Booja a vegan manufacturer well-known for its luxurious (and completely dairy-free!) truffles. This Norfolk-based manufacturer donates 5% of its profits to two different charities each year. This year, Booja Booja’s chosen charities are Flora and Fauna International and Total Ensemble Theatre Company.

The Web Effect

In this day and age, the internet makes it easier than ever to be socially engaged with events happening thousands of miles away. Chocolate suppliers and manufacturers are increasingly marketing to this socially engaged group, particularly millennials, who spend a lot of time online.

This trend towards chocolate with a mission shows that consumers care both about a great taste, and about the story behind their chocolate. As chocolate suppliers who want to cater also to those whom social justice and environmental issues matter most, we strongly believe that retailers would do well to stock products with a strong ethos.

July 2016

The Exotic World of Vanilla

You’re used to seeing vanilla everywhere, but did you know this ubiquitous flavour comes from a faraway flowering vine? Anything but plain, there’s more to vanilla than you ever imagined.

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In the confectionery world, vanilla is something of an unsung hero. An essential ingredient in many beloved treats, vanilla often flies under the radar. In fact, this important flavour is so ingrained into modern culinary culture, that vanilla products are often seen as ‘basic’ or ‘plain’! But this sublime, plant-derived essence is anything but plain. When you dig into a bowl of ‘plain’ vanilla ice cream or bite into a vanilla cream truffle, you’re tasting an exotic ingredient that hails from foreign lands. When it comes to the most commonplace flavour in confectionery, there’s much more than meets the eye.

Background and Biology

Chances are, when you encounter vanilla it’s typically in the form of extract – a dark brown liquid that’s a common sight in the baking aisle of the local supermarket. But who knew that this ubiquitous flavouring actually comes from the delicate orchid flower? The species V. planifolia is responsible for most of the world’s vanilla, and can be found everywhere from Mexico to Indonesia to Madagascar. The orchid grows as a climbing vine, producing seed pods about one third of an inch wide by six inches long, which turn a dark reddish-brown colour when ripe. Inside these seed pods is an oily paste made up of countless tiny seeds. If you’ve ever admired the tiny black specks in French vanilla ice cream, here’s where it all begins.

Production

Though consumers are used to seeing vanilla products far and wide, real vanilla (not the artificial substitutions) is enormously difficult to produce. The flowers of the V. planifolia must be pollinated in order to produce the seed pods prized the world over. However, the flower can only be pollinated by bees of the Melipona genus, the Mexican mountain bee. Attempts to introduce the bee into other vanilla-growing areas have been unsuccessful, so the plant is by and large pollinated by hand – a labour-intensive process that increases the sale price of this precious commodity.

Culinary Uses

If you’ve ever had dessert (and who hasn’t?), you know that vanilla crops up just about everywhere. A versatile additive in extract, paste, and powder form, vanilla lends an enticing floral aroma to everything from cakes to ice cream to coffee. It’s also an important accompaniment to another very important substance in the culinary and dessert world: chocolate!

If you’re already seeing vanilla in a whole new light, consider exploring the many products that really let this exotic flavour shine. From fudge to marshmallows to cream-filled eggs, you’ll find vanilla hiding in plain sight. Truly a confectioner’s best friend, it’s time to let this overlooked orchid seed get the love and attention it really deserves.

June 2016

The Raw Chocolate Revolution

One of the trends on the rise in the chocolate world isn’t roasted, but raw. But what’s the story behind this newcomer on the scene?

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As chocolate suppliers, we consider it our job to stay abreast of the trends in the confectionery industry. Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of fads come and go without leaving much of a mark – but now, something truly radical is arriving on the scene. The past year or two has been all about the rise of raw chocolate, a new and yet not-so-new kind of product that is changing the rules of the game.

What is Raw Chocolate?

To understand raw chocolate, it’s important to first appreciate the complex process involved in making conventional chocolate. Cacao beans are harvested, fermented, roasted, ground, pressed, and mixed with cocoa butter and sugar before being turned into the finished products we know and love. If that sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is!

Makers of raw chocolate adapt this process by eliminating the roasting step, instead leaving cacao beans out in the sun to dry naturally and then cold-pressing them. Proponents of raw chocolate believe that heating the ingredients can cause vital nutrients to break down, so this gentler process is intended to keep them intact. And with a superfood like chocolate, which is packed with powerful antioxidants, there’s a lot to gain by maintaining precious nutritional compounds.

Our Recommendations

You may wonder whether raw chocolate can compete with conventionally produced chocolate in terms of taste. Enjoy! Raw Chocolate, based in Hampshire, is one manufacturer to keep an eye on in this respect. The company, founded by a husband and wife team in 2014, currently produces seven types of raw chocolate bars ranging from plain to intense, mint to fruit and nut. All of them have a delightful deep cacao flavour – a truly complex experience redolent of the beans they came from.

Currently, raw chocolate accounts for a very small slice of the larger market, so it’s best to introduce it into your stock gradually (and be prepared to answer questions your curious customers may have about the new product). Craving more information on this trendy treat? Get in touch with a member of our team to learn how you can best market the raw chocolate revolution.

April 2016

Your Personal Chocolate Greeting Card

When it comes to pairing the perfect card with the perfect gift, why not say it with a chocolate greeting card?

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If you’ve ever agonised over the perfect gift, or spent hours in the post office or the stationery store sifting for the perfect card, chocolate suppliers are here to help. When it comes to special occasions, you just can’t go wrong with chocolate.

The Perfect Gift

When selecting a present for someone, be it a casual acquaintance, close friend, or family member, there are always many factors to consider. First and most obviously, will the person like it? Is it an appropriate gift for the occasion? Did you spend the right amount of money – not too lavishly or too parsimoniously? Is it a gift that the recipient will actually use?

When you give chocolate, all of these questions are easy. Chocolate is widely adored, so most people will be glad to receive it (even if the recipient isn’t a chocolate fan, he or she can always pass it on to someone who is!). Chocolate is also appropriate for a number of occasions, be it a birthday or a simple ‘thinking of you’. It’s also very affordable for most buyers – depending on how much you get! And of course, if the recipient likes chocolate, this is a gift they will most certainly use (i.e. eat).

Chocolate Greeting Cards

Now that you have the perfect gift, why not personalise it for the occasion? Chocolate greeting cards lend an elegant and thoughtful touch on their own or in addition to another gift. We stock a number of these edible greeting cards made from fine milk chocolate. The beautifully designed wrappers have messages, each with a wry twist, for many different occasions. There is also a space on the back of the bar for your own special message.

Browse the 'Greetings' section of our website for gift-ready chocolate bars. Whether your customers want to say ‘get well soon’ or ‘I love you,’ we have the chocolate greeting card for you.

April 2016

Why Chocolate and Romance are simply meant to be

Many chocolate suppliers rely heavily on the tradition of giving chocolates as a romantic gesture (and not just at Valentine’s Day) – but what makes chocolate and love go together.

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If there’s one food that gets us in the mood for love, it’s chocolate. Whether it’s a heart-shaped box of truffles around Valentine’s Day, a tray of chocolate-dipped strawberries, or even a couple’s chocolate massage, this luxurious treat has always inspired romance.

Ancient Beginnings

The Aztecs, who were consuming fermented chocolate beverages in Mesoamerica as early as the 12th century, believed that chocolate acted as an aphrodisiac and gave the drinker great strength. (The Aztecs even used cacao beans as currency!) Modern day science is sceptical about the aphrodisiac claims, although chocolate has proven to contain important mood-enhancing, love-boosting chemicals that are worth a closer look.

Love Drugs

Consuming chocolate has been shown to increase the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin, sometimes called the ‘happiness molecule’ is a neurotransmitter (chemical signal) associated with the regulation of mood, appetite, and sleep. Increased levels of serotonin are believed to promote cheerfulness, romantic feelings, and sexual desire, while low levels are associated with depression and anxiety.

Chocolate consumption also causes the brain to release dopamine, another neurotransmitter associated with love, lust, pleasure, and many other emotions.

But that’s not all. Newer studies show that the consumption of chocolate and other sweet treats can lead individuals into a romantic state of mind. According to a study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, single unattached participants were more likely to imagine a positive, if theoretical, relationship for themselves in the future. That’s good news for those looking for love – as well as for chocolate suppliers!

Romantic Favourites

If you’re love-struck by chocolate, take a look through the ‘Romance’ section of our website. Here you’ll find plenty of treats to tempt your customers into a committed relationship with the sweet stuff. From Günthart’s classically colourful foil-wrapped heart-shaped chocolates to chocolate roses (another symbol of love), we have everything you need to fall in love at first bite.

December 2015

Vegan Chocolates that Don't Taste Vegan

You might associate veganism with health foods, but several brands are producing vegan chocolates that are just as decadent as their dairy-filled cousins.

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For many people, ‘vegan’ is the term that denotes the small corner of the supermarket special foods aisle where they will rarely, if ever, venture. Veganism can be an intimidating trend for many people, who associate life without dairy, eggs, meat, and other animal products with an existence devoid of indulgence.

Chocolate for All

First, it’s worth mentioning that it isn’t too hard to go vegan when it comes to chocolate. That’s because of the rising popularity of dark chocolate, which by definition contains no dairy solids. Dark chocolate is always a great option for vegans with a sweet tooth. But what about those more varied and extravagant treats – bonbons, truffles, and the like? Those filled treats are much more likely to rely on dairy for flavour, texture, and consistency.

Our Favourites

Luckily, there’s one big exception to this among our manufacturers, and that’s Booja-Booja. Based near Norwich in Norfolk, they have been producing chocolates and ice cream alternatives since 1999. What’s truly remarkable about their products is that they are organic, gluten-free, vegan, and soya-free – and still taste amazing.

A look at the packaging of Booja-Booja’s truffles reveals only familiar, pronounceable ingredients. Coconut oil is used to give the truffles a velvety texture, and pure cane sugar and agave contribute a light sweetness. We’re particularly fond of the hazelnut crunch and espresso flavours. Around Easter, don’t miss the beautiful hand-painted eggs made in India and filled with the truffles of your choice.

These amazingly luscious treats will have you wondering – can they truly be vegan? Rest assured, Booja-Booja is the real deal. If you’re interested in stocking vegan-friendly confections, get in touch to discuss what’s best for your business.

September 2015

Celebrating the British Chocolate Manufacturer

As more and more niche chocolate manufacturers emerge in Britain, we consider the history and positive contributions of this growing trend for the chocolate retailer.

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As chocolate suppliers, we have been championing the rise of the independent UK manufacturer for many years, and today we are particularly proud of the high quality luxury chocolates that are produced locally. On a par with or superior to the chocolates that are sourced from countries celebrated for their fine chocolates, like Belgium, the British product is earning well deserved respect.

The History of British Chocolate

The history of chocolate production in the UK is actually quite remarkable, and the large companies like Cadbury and Rowntree’s are recognised globally. Not many people know that the Quakers were responsible for the UK’s position in large-scale commercial chocolate production. Both Cadbury and Rowntree’s were founded by Quaker families who sought to encourage society to enjoy non-alcoholic treats. Though Rowntree’s is better known for its fruit gums and jelly tots today, it once competed heavily with Cadbury in the chocolate world, and developed the Aero bar, Kit Kat, and Smarties in the 1930s.

The only revolutionary element in the rise of the British manufacturer that stands out in this day and age is the growing recognition for the more boutique and niche producers like Willie’s Cacao, Prestat, and Booja Booja.

The Social Spirit of Chocolate

The Quaker spirit and philosophy of social responsibility is a sentiment that still resonates with the newer and smaller chocolate suppliers.

Booja-Booja, for example, is known not only for its delicious vegan confections, but also for its outstanding social mission. Every year, this Norfolk-based company chooses two charities to share 5% of its profits. Booja-Booja’s chosen charities include Flora and Fauna International and Total Ensemble Theatre Company.

Another British chocolate manufacturer, Willie’s Cacao, combines passion for chocolate with environmentally friendly practices. Willie’s Cacao runs its own farm in Venezuela, called El Tesoro. At El Tesoro the trees are irrigated by natural mountain water and the indigenous eco-balance is preserved by the farm policy to not use pesticides, fertilisers or any other chemicals.

Resonating with a Local Market

In our opinion, British manufactured chocolates are not only high quality products but are also designed and presented in a manner that resonates with the local market. Making them available to your customers is a good way to generate more confectionery sales.

For example, Prestat has been making chocolate in England for over 100 years, and their products have a distinctly British flair. Among Prestat’s wares you’ll find Earl Grey chocolate wafers, rose and violet creams and London gin truffles. If that’s not British enough for you, you can select one of the truffle assortments arranged in a Union Jack box!

We strongly feel that our range of UK chocolate suppliers does justice to a deserving group of unique and top quality producers, so if you need some advice on the selection that would best suit your market please call one of our team.

September 2015

Dessert Chocolates

We look at the trend for dessert-flavoured chocolates and highlight some of the many products we supply to give retailers some of the best ranges to tempt their customers.

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While it’s not a brand new innovation, the dessert-flavoured chocolate is deemed to be a major trend of 2015 according to many experts in the chocolate industry.

Only a few weeks ago, 'The Grocer' reported on this phenomenon and quoted the opinion of Julie Walsh, the head patisserie chef at the culinary school Le Cordon Bleu. She identified that:

“A lot of pastry chefs at the moment are using dessert flavours like tiramisu and cheesecake in their truffles and chocolates. With dessert-flavoured fillings you get a two in one hit of dessert and chocolate.”

As chocolate suppliers we have been noting this growing trend and actively seeking some high quality and tasty additions to our range of chocolates that are inspired by the flavours of some of our favourite desserts.

Comforting Classics & Elegant Sophistication

Lily O’Brien’s has drawn on the traditional classics to produce the 'Desserts Collection' box with treats such as Sticky Toffee, Banoffee Pie, Crème Brûlée and Key Lime Pie. We feel that products like these suit our ethos as chocolate suppliers to source classic confectionery that has been recreated with that little twist of the unexpected.

However, it’s not just the comfort desserts that are inspiring. We have also found dessert-flavoured chocolates that reflect the more sophisticated, Continental desserts.

We supply Meybona’s Tiramisu Italian Dessert Bars and the Zabaglione and Tiramisu truffle boxes produced by Pure Chocolate for those who want to stock the desserts that embody the flair and sophistication of Italian patisserie.

New Moulds & Textures

It is also reported that consumer demand appears to be favouring the chocolate products that are shaped in a slightly different way – the new moulds that manufacturers are experimenting with generate inspiration for new flavours. For example Lessiter’s has produced chocolates in the shape of miniature cupcakes with names such as Lemon Cheesecake Cup.

In the dessert industry, texture is very important and this preoccupation has been adopted by the chocolatiers who are inspired by their cousin chefs. We have many products that have delightful textures, and again the Lessiter’s Triple Chocolate Crunch Cup is a lovely example.

Let Us Help You

So if you are looking for advice on what to stock to meet the demands of future trends then we strongly recommend that you consider the dessert chocolate. We have many appealing products to keep your shelves looking up to date for your customers.

August 2015

Cacao

With all the variations on the chocolate theme in the world you may be surprised to learn that there are only 3 main varieties of trees producing the cacao beans.

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When chocolate suppliers are looking for products that have rich, high quality flavours they would do well to ask about the chocolate manufacturer’s source of cacao and to consider the type of tree from which the beans are harvested. There are three main types of tree that most chocolate suppliers will encounter when they source products. At hf Chocolates we offer a range of chocolates from some manufacturers who prefer to work with particular species of tree.

The Forastero Tree

This is an extremely hearty species whose vigour makes it an ideal tree to cultivate for cacao bean production. It comes from the upper Amazonia and today is the tree of preference among cacao farmers in Africa and the West Indies.

The flavour profile of the Forastero Tree is rather bitter with a sharp aroma, so it is usually used for mixing cocoas. However, the Almenolado, which is a variety of the species, produces a bean whose cocoa product is much lighter and more fragrant in flavour. We supply chocolates made by the Italian company Venchi, and many of their best products are made using this variety of tree grown on the farms in the Amazonian rainforests of Equador.

The Criollo Tree

Cacao beans from the Criollo tree produce some of the finest chocolate due to the more refined cocoa butter content compared to the beans from other tree types. It yields a variety of subtle overtones and a pure cocoa flavour that is far less bitter than most.

Its name derives from the Spanish word for native ‘creole’ and it was first identified by the conquistadors on the coast of South America. Today the tree is notoriously difficult to cultivate – it is not robust and is prone to small and fluctuating yields as well as pestilence and disease.

The fragility of the tree combined with the unmatched quality of its bean makes it much coveted among chocolate connoisseurs. As chocolate suppliers, we have been delighted to add Willie’s Indonesian Gold bars and Becks Criollo drinking chocolate to our range.

The Trinitario Tree

Traditionally, any tree species that produces a flavour profile that is considered to be neither too strongly like that of the Criollo nor the Forastero has been identified as the Trinitario. Purists, however, reject this definition and insist that a Trinitario tree is the specific variety created in Trinidad when Criollo trees were transplanted from Venezuela to Trinidad in the 18th century and crossed with a variety of Forastero that grew on the island.

Conclusion

Chocolate suppliers like us seek great quality at good prices when we source chocolates for retailers. We understand how critical the origins of the ingredients are to the final product and if you are looking to try out some products that have been produced with specific beans then please get in touch and we can help you choose the best ones for your customers.

August 2015

Speciality Chocolate Fair

Visiting the 2015 Speciality Chocolate Fair? Please come to our stand for a chat about your business and to see our great chocolate supplies.

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The annual Speciality Chocolate Fair is coming up again at the beginning of September 6-8 September, at Olympia as part of the Speciality and Fine Food Fair. As the only trade event dedicated to luxury chocolate suppliers in the UK, it’s an event that we highly recommend to owners of delis, chocolate shops and sweet shops, farm shops, garden centres, coffee shops, independent retailers, restaurant buyers, hotel owners and caterers.

As chocolate suppliers specialising in gourmet products and high quality chocolate, hf Chocolates will be exhibiting at Stand 3024 upstairs in the Olympia Central Hall where you are warmly invited to come and meet us.

hf Chocolates at the Speciality Chocolate Fair, London

This year we are highlighting a really exceptional range of nougat dessert cakes that are as lovely to look at as they are to eat. In addition we are bringing something a little fun: cocktail chocolate bars. These products will delight you and your customers with a surprising fusion of cocktail truffle fillings and milk or white chocolate at a great price point.

You’ll also be pleased to see that the inspiring chocolates produced by Lily O’Brien are now available to you through hf Chocolates along with Monty Bojangles’ amazingly packed truffles, so make sure you talk to us about these when you visit.

Not only is this fair a great opportunity for you to come and meet us but there are some fun events taking place as well. Speciality Chocolate Live is being hosted by Will Torrent who rejoices in the grand title of Chocolate Ambassador. Along with a team of eminent personalities from institutions like the Academy of Chocolate and top chocolatiers, the fair convenors will be running sessions that offer ideas and inspirations for your chocolate retail business.

We’d love to meet with you during the Fair so feel free to contact us either via the exhibition site or direct on 01908 315003 to book an appointment at Olympia.