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

At hf Chocolates we pride ourselves on a wholesale confectionery range that guarantees a large supply of delicious tasting and delightfully presented chocolates and sweets for your customers.

Good Value Excellence

As confectionery wholesalers with an extensive knowledge of the chocolate market, we can provide you with stylish, tempting fine chocolate and chocolate novelties or mouth-watering sweets at prices that you can afford.

Specialist confectionery wholesalers: Chocolates & sweets for all your business needs

The Range

As reputable and skilled confectionery wholesalers based in the UK, we provide our customers with products that taste as good as they look from smaller, more individual suppliers as well as from some established, more traditional manufacturers, thus guaranteeing you a wide range of mouth-watering and stylishly packaged products at a competitive price.

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We have suppliers from all over the world who contribute to making our wholesale confectionery range both diverse and of the highest quality. We source our chocolates and confectionery from France, Italy, Spain, America, Germany and Holland. In addition we provide select products from British confectioners: their experience and knowledge of the domestic market, combined with their rigorous quality standards, makes their chocolates and sweets a great option for owners of UK confectionery businesses.

As confectionery wholesalers we believe that you should be able to supplement the range of chocolates andsweets that you offer to your customers. Our team at hf Chocolates has handpicked suppliers whose products are just a little bit different. We can help you add a touch of the unique to your shelves and confectionery displays.

Delivering Safely

It is important to us to do whatever we can to get your orders to you in good condition. With minimal handling in the packing and shipping stages, set delivery slots, and notification by text message we do everything we can to ensure your order reaches you safely.

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Confectionery wholesalers have always faced challenges in getting their products to their clients in pristine condition. At hf Chocolates, we have invested time and money to make sure that our warehouse staff are trained to pack your wholesale confectionery orders with professional care. We have equipped our building with climate control devices to maintain optimum conditions for storing chocolates and sweets (16-18 degrees Celsius). For the even more delicate products like nougat we have set up an area that is kept especially cool.

Specialist Packing Area

We can meet your individual packing requirements in our specialist packing area. If you want bespoke labelling or pre-designed products then our team can offer you design concepts that will give your sweet and chocolate displays that unique and appealing look so that you can have the edge over your competitors.

If you want your orders to be supplied in packaging with your own logo and brand motifs, please contact us to discuss your needs. Certain lines in our wholesale confectionery range can be tailored to meet these requests.

Our Experience

We offer more than chocolate and sweets to our clients. With our decades of experience as confectionery wholesalers we have acquired a level of expertise in the industry that we would love to share with you. Our team can offer you suggestions for getting more out of your confectionery sales.

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All the staff members at hf Chocolates are dedicated to helping you run a successful confectionery business. We have a good knowledge of the UK market and this puts our buying team in a great position to make sure that you get access to the unique and special wholesale confectionery products that we believe will delight your customers.

With our many years of experience we have been helping our customers with advice on how to pick the most effective range of chocolates and sweets to maximise profits on their sales.

Our path to becoming expert confectionery wholesalers began nearly 60 years ago when the company founder Hans Flatauer (his initials gave us the ‘hf’ of our company name) set up his business selling German chocolate novelties in Great Britain.

Since then hf Chocolates has emerged as a well known supplier of confectionery to businesses looking for products whose taste and presentation meet the needs of their customers.

September 2016

Preparing your Retail Space for Christmas

Preparing your retail space in the run up to Christmas is crucial to making the most of sales in one of the busiest months in the confectioner’s calendar.

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For those with a sweet tooth, Christmas is one of the few times of the year when confectionery can be eaten without the slightest bit of remorse – candy canes, sugarplums and sharing tins are all synonymous with the season. As a result of this, Christmas is a vital sales time for retailers. Here are a few tips on how to prepare for what will likely be your busiest time of the year

Preparation

It is crucial to start preparing for Christmas well in advance. If it’s already 5th December by the time you perfect your display of advent calendars, you will have missed out on a huge sales opportunity.

Bear in mind that there is likely to be increased footfall during the festive season. This should be encouraged – you could consider opening for late-night shopping for one night of the week in the run-up to Christmas, or maybe offer free samples on the threshold to entice people into your shop – but it is important to be sure that you are well-staffed throughout the holiday. Make sure you prepare your staff rota well in advance, so that you know you are covered for any time that staff might want to have off in December.

Creating the Christmassy Feel

It is important that your customers feel as if they are entering into the Christmas spirit as soon as they step through the door. A magical shop display can help your premises to stand out from the crowd on the high street while also advertising some key seasonal products. You could decorate a tree with an assortment of delectable decorations, such as these adorable Vintage Tin Baubles filled with cherry and ginger fudge, or these Milk Chocolate Tinsel Balls from Stortz.

We’ve been supplying retailers with wholesale Christmas confectionery for years, and as a result we have a bank of advice that we would be more than happy to share with you. Feel free to browse our other blog posts for further information, or do not hesitate to contact a member of our customer services team.

September 2016

A Very Virtuous Christmas: Fairtrade, Organic and Free-From Gifts

With our selection of fairtrade, organic and free-from treats you can ensure that customers are able to buy goodies that are deliciously ethical this Christmas.

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Retailers know that Christmas is a time of indulgence, but that doesn’t mean that customers have to give up their ethical or health standards when it comes to festive treats. Now more than ever the market has a wide selection of fair-trade, organic and free-from confectionery which would make a perfect gift for the discerning chocoholic. Highlighting these products at Christmas may help customers to feel less gluttonous and more virtuous when selecting their seasonal treats.

Fairtrade Products

In recent years the chocolate industry has come under scrutiny for its fairtrade practices when it comes to dealing with farmers in developing countries. We stock a number of brands, such as Divine, Green Dream and Tohi, which go above and beyond the fairtrade standard of the rest of the industry to produce treats that are both ethical and delicious.

Divine are trailblazers when it comes to the production and sale of fairtrade chocolate, having won a number of social enterprise awards for their business model. Their fairtrade Chocolate Mint Thins are the perfect after-dinner treat for the Christmas table. br/>

Organic Products

Our organic confectionery suppliers endeavour to grow and make their products to meet the standards of organic farming; this includes not using certain pesticides or fertilisers, nor processing the products with industrial solvents, irradiation or synthetic food additives.

YumEarth, whose organic sweets are all gluten-free, have put together a delightful gift tin of their fruity lollipops, perfect for anyone who’s a sucker for all-natural ingredients. If your customers are looking to snuggle up on a cold evening this winter with their hands around a warm mug of hot chocolate, organic brand Tohi sell tins of both milk and dark chocolate flakes.

Free-From Products

In the past it has been difficult for people with allergies to ingredients such as nuts, milk, wheat, gluten or soya to enjoy Christmas sweet treats offered on the general market. Now, with the increasing awareness with regards to free-from diets, it is much easier for consumers to get their hands on clearly-labelled products that are suitable for those avoiding a specific food type or allergen.

Leone makes its delicious jellies from a high concentration of fruit pulp, squeezed fruit and essential oils; what’s more, they are free from gluten, milk, nuts and colouring agents, and are suitable for vegans. Their fruit jellies in gorgeous Retro Chic Tins would make perfect stocking fillers this Christmas.

August 2016

Desobry: Mastering the Belgian Biscuits

Embrace those two great Belgian classics, biscuits and chocolate, with the decadent creations coming from Desobry.

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When you think about Belgium’s contributions to the culinary world, two things immediately stand out: biscuits and chocolate. Indeed, the nation has so excelled in the production of both temptations that the word ‘Belgian’ placed before either ‘biscuit’ or ‘chocolate’ has come to be synonymous with superior quality.

Given Belgium’s track record of producing internationally famous biscuits (most notably speculoos) and fine chocolate, it’s hardly surprisingly the two are commonly paired in one sublime taste experience. When we’re looking to indulge in Belgium’s finest, we turn to the myriad sweet delights from Desobry, ‘The Belgian Biscuitier’.

World-Famous Quality

In 1947, Léon Desobry baked his first biscuits in Tournai, a city in the Wallonian region that is among Belgium’s oldest. The aroma of butter, sugar, spices, and chocolate wafted through the neighbourhood drawing locals to Desobry’s shop. It wasn’t long before Léon Desobry became known as a Master in the art of biscuit-making.

Today, the outstanding reputation of Desobry products extends well beyond Belgian borders. The brand has become an ambassador for the nation’s finest culinary specialties, and the sublime marriage of the two!

Our Favourites

Choosing from the Desobry catalogue can be tough, to say the least. The Belgian manufacturer produces so many shapes, sizes, and flavours it’s hard to choose just one. If you’re looking to play up national classics in your display, stocking speculoos is a no-brainer. This thin, crunchy, slightly caramelised Belgian/Dutch mainstay is flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, and is especially popular during Christmastime. For a more decadent tone, try Desobry’s famous perles. These biscuits are topped with a luscious, creamy chocolate centre and then dipped in dark, milk, or white chocolate.

Then, of course, there’s everything in between! From thin, crunchy cigars to the elegant almond-topped amandine, Desobry proves itself a master of Belgian traditions. To see the rest of Desobry’s long list of offerings, take a look at our most recently released catalogue, or get in touch with a member of our customer service team.

MAY 2016

Chocolate with a British Twist

From London gin to English rose, a British invasion is sweeping the chocolate industry. These local flavours provide a unique twist to some of our favourite treats.

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The British have always loved their sweets. From the ubiquitous Dairy Milk to the temptingly crunchy Maltesers, the people of Britain definitely have a sweet tooth (or two). And what better way to celebrate British chocolate than with flavours that truly evoke the national tastes? We take pride in stocking British-made and British-inspired chocolates, and we’re delighted to see that some of our local manufacturers are celebrating quintessential British tastes.

Locally Grown

Prestat, one of England’s oldest chocolate houses, is fully embracing native pride. Browsing through their products, you’re likely to encounter confections such as dark chocolate wafers infused with ‘zingy English mint.’ A staple of the home garden, mint grows freely and easily in the moist soils of Britain, and the smell of it on the breeze is one of the classic aromas of a summer’s day in the countryside.

Prestat also carries a number of other equally patriotic treats. Their London gin and lemon fizz truffles are a playful take on the classic warm-weather beverage, while the rose and violet truffles evoke the delicate, floral aromas of an English country garden. If that’s not patriotic enough for you, go for an assortment of Prestat’s chocolates packaged in a Union Jack box!

Prestat isn’t the only manufacturer capitalising on British tastes, however. Montezuma’s of Sussex has a range of Great British Pudding bars, which include flavours such as Eton Mess, Spotted Dick, and Treacle Tart. In a similar vein, Dolfin’s Belgian chocolate bars have lately been embracing such classic British flavours as Earl Grey, mint, and lavender – all of which offer a delicate whiff of well-known regional scents.

A Growing Trend

Recent data from the Office of National Statistics suggests that the international market’s taste for British goods is growing. From China to Ukraine, the world is falling for our national flavours like strawberries and cream, cheddar cheese and gin and tonic. If you’re interested in exploring the world of Britain’s home-grown flavours, have a look through our catalogue or give us a call to hear more about our nationally-inspired chocolates.

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June 2016

Inside Fair Trade

It’s hard to ignore the buzz about fair trade chocolate. In today’s market, fair trade products are hotter than ever!

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Take a look into what makes these companies tick If you’ve been keeping an eye on chocolate trends, you’ve probably noticed the ever-increasing popularity of fair trade products. Consumers are increasingly paying greater attention to the whole chocolate-making process, including the social and economic practices at play in the production of the world’s favourite treat.With this in mind, fair trade companies are stepping in with strong mission statements and more equitable profit-sharing – not to mention truly delicious products

What is Fair Trade, Anyway?

Fair trade is more than a passing chocolate fad – it’s a whole social movement extending to coffee, wine, handicrafts, and many other products. The fair trade movement typically focuses on products which are produced in developing countries and exported to developed countries. In the process of trade and production, workers and artisans often do not get a fair cut of the profits. In big, international markets like those for chocolate and coffee, the farmers who harvest and prepare the beans often get the short end of the stick, and few of the benefits of trade. Fair trade products aim to remedy this by ensuring farmers get a fair deal for the cacao they harvest.

How Does It Work?

Not all fair trade companies work the same way, but all of them share some basic principles: a higher price offered to farmers, a respect for all members of the production chain, and emphasis on sustainability. In the fair trade chocolate world, Divine, based here in the UK, is going above and beyond these principles (and producing some truly excellent treats).

Founded in 1998, Divine is a privately owned company limited by shares. Forty-four percent of those shares are owned by the cacao growers themselves, through a co-operative arrangement. With a substantial stake in the company, cacao growers are empowered with both influence over business decisions as well as a fair share of the profits.

The structure of the company is unique both in the UK fair trade and confectionery markets. Divine has won several awards for its social enterprising, as well as for its delicious bars, which are available in flavours such as sea salt toffee and dark chocolate raspberry.

Looking to stock Divine or other fair trade chocolate brands such as Tohi (which is organic as well), Green Dream or Madécasse? Browse through our online catalogue or get in touch with us directly to discuss which options are best for your business.

June 2016

Flavonoids and Antioxidants: Chocolate's Secret Weapons

Chocolate’s been enjoying the nutritional spotlight lately, but what’s behind the ‘super’ of everyone’s favourite superfood.

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In recent years, chocolate has been getting a lot of attention in the nutrition world. Lauded as a ‘superfood’ – particularly the dark stuff – it is packed with a surprisingly array of nutrients. All the positive publicity has given chocolate a big boost with health-conscious consumers, but what’s the secret to its nutritional success?

What is a Superfood?

First, a word about the ‘superfood’ buzz. It’s important to note that the term doesn’t have any legal or medical definition – but it does provide a real marketing boost. As a general rule, superfoods are foods that are especially rich in nutrients beneficial to health and well-being. They’re typically high in vitamins, minerals, and other compounds. Other examples of superfoods include tomatoes, blueberries, pomegranates, kale and salmon.

Flavonoids and Antioxidants

Chocolate owes its superfood status to two groups of compounds, both of which are getting increased attention in the nutrition world.br/>
Flavonoids – These naturally-occurring pigments help protect plants from environmental toxins and help repair cell damage. When we consume flavonoids, that beneficial protection is passed onto us. The flavonoid family contains over 6,000 different chemicals, including flavanols – a substance found in the cacao bean that has been shown to improve vascular health.

Antioxidants – Found in chocolate and many other superfoods, antioxidants are nutritional substances that fight damage caused by oxidizing agents called free radicals, which can damage cells. Free radicals are everywhere, and can enter your body from environmental contaminants such as cigarette smoke. Boosting your antioxidant intake with foods like chocolate helps your body fight off oxidation damage from these microscopic toxins.

Selling a Superfood

For your health-conscious consumers, the nutritious compounds found in chocolate will be a big draw. Since the superfood benefits of the treat are strongest in darker varieties, keeping a wide range of bars of 70% cacao content and higher is a sure bet. To really pack a nutritional punch, look into combining superfoods with chocolate products that also contain blueberries, pomegranate seeds, walnuts or other nutrient-rich foods. Overwhelmed with choice? Get in touch with us to learn more about which of our products work best for your customer demographic.

June 2016

A Taste of Home: British Inspired Sweets

From classic desserts to the flavours of an English garden, some of our manufacturers are banking on British flavours to inspire consumers.

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Britons have long had a sweet tooth. From the colourful allure of pick ‘n’ mix to the delightful chew of fruit pastilles, sweets are simply a way of life. But what happens when sweets combine with the other longstanding culinary traditions of our island nation? Some of our manufacturers are getting creative with bringing big British flavours into bite-sized sweets. If you’re looking to add a little patriotic flair to your display, check out these locally-inspired treats.

Time for Dessert

Who doesn’t like digging into a bowl of fresh June strawberries with cream, or a dish of rhubarb and custard? These classic British desserts are given their due with Sweet Boutique’s boiled sweet interpretation. Suck on these two-toned sugar-coated delights and you’re treated to dessert in miniature. Packaged in a clear cellophane bag tied with a jaunty ribbon, these sweets will immediately jump out to your customers seeking a reminder of warm-weather British classics.

Also worth a mention is Sweet Boutique’s clotted cream fudge. This rich confection draws on Britons’ affection for clotted cream, the thick and luscious delight made by heating cow’s milk in a steam bath and then allowing it to cool thoroughly. Commonly found alongside scones and jam, clotted cream makes an excellent accompaniment to fudge, itself a national favourite.

A Bite-Sized English Garden

Some of our other manufacturers are turning to nature for inspiration. Italian confectioner Leone, for example, makes its pastilles in mint, violet, and lavender flavours – all of which should be familiar to anyone with an English herb garden! Hardy and vigorous English mint has always done well in the temperamental British climate, while lavender doesn’t mind the damp and humidity. Meanwhile, violets have long been a common sight on riverbanks and English woods, even earning a mention in Shakespearean verse. All these native plants lend themselves excellently to sweet interpretation, and are a wonderful choice for the customer who prefers light and subtle herbal notes in his or her confectionery.

If you are looking to add a little local flair to your stock, get in touch to learn more about our selection of British-inspired sweets. After all, who doesn’t like a little taste of home?

June 2016

Chocolate and Fruit: A Match Made in Heaven

From chocolate-covered strawberries to orange cordials, chocolate and fruit are meant to be. See how some of our manufacturers are putting a spin on this classic pairing.

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When dessert comes to mind, chances are you’re thinking of something fruity (strawberry shortcake, apple pie, peach cobbler) or something chocolaty (brownies, hot cocoa, chocolate gateau). True, fruit and chocolate tend to dominate the world of dessert. But when these two great flavour powerhouses are put together, something even more amazing results.

Not only do chocolate and fruit complement each other in the realm of taste, they’re also the perfect way to get your vitamins (and enjoy them too). Our manufacturers have outdone themselves in offering a wide range of chocolate bars and confections paired with all types of fruit to create combinations that will delight your customers with every bite.

The Timeless Appeal of Fruit and Chocolate

Fruit and chocolate have long been an item – but why? It all has to do with complementary flavours. For example, dark chocolate, with its slightly bitter bite, nicely balances very sweet fruits such as bananas. White chocolate’s mild, creamy taste, meanwhile, is a perfect complement to more acidic fruits such as berries and citrus. Milk chocolate falls somewhere in the middle, a good accompaniment to a wide range of fruits with varying sweetness and acidity levels. Of course, these basic guidelines will vary depending on the tasting notes of the chocolate and the variety of fruit. But when the right chocolate and the right fruit collide, magic results.

Health Benefits

Chocolate is already an acknowledged superfood, but the addition of fruits really kicks it up a notch. Berries are rich in fibre and in disease-fighting antioxidants. In addition, anthocyanins, which give berries their vibrant colour, have been shown to help fight inflammation and boost cognitive function. Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C, which all bodies require for the growth and repair of tissues, collagen production and maintaining bone and tooth health. Pair these fruits with antioxidant-rich chocolate and you’ve got a treat with a powerful nutritional punch.

Our Favourites

If you browse through our catalogue, you’ll find plenty of fruit and chocolate pairings to suit your customers’ desires. Divine’s milk chocolate and orange bar marries creamy, smooth chocolate with the fresh zing of citrus, while the brand’s dark chocolate raspberry bar combines a deep cocoa experience with tart berry notes. For the sugar-free crowd, we recommend Pure’s blueberry or raspberry cream dark chocolate truffles with no added sugar, or Balance’s stevia-sweetened strawberry and blueberry bar. Can’t decide what’s best for your customers? Get in touch to learn more about our fruit and chocolate selections..

December 2015

How to Store Chocolate

If you’re purchasing and storing wholesale chocolate, it’s important to have the right storage conditions or you could risk compromising the whole lot.

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As experienced wholesale chocolate suppliers, we at hf Chocolates are well acquainted with this sweet treat’s finicky behaviour. Keep your chocolate (and your customers) happy with proper storage and handling.

Chocolate: A Fragile Food

The first thing to remember about chocolate is that it is a delicate substance. It can’t tolerate heat or humidity. It absorbs surrounding odours. And, its orderly crystalline structure demands just the right conditions to keep it in balance. In a large order of wholesale chocolate, one tiny mistake can mean an entire batch ruined. Chocolate, then, requires a bit of special attention.

The ideal temperature range for storing chocolate is 16-18 degrees. Chocolate is the most stable and easiest to store when it is in bar form: for many bars you can find a shelf life of around 18 months although much depends on the way the bar is wrapped to preserve its quality. For filled confections such as truffles, it’s best to consume them within three to four months, if not kept in optimum conditions. These are only guidelines and in reality many chocolates will hold their flavour for much longer but, if stored incorrectly, may deteriorate more quickly.

The Great Fridge Debate

Refrigerating chocolate is a highly debated topic in the confectionery world. Some warn that the low temperatures and high humidity of the fridge is a recipe for disaster! Others say refrigerating or freezing chocolate is perfectly all right – provided you do it properly.

If soaring temperatures outside are threatening the chocolate stored inside, refrigerating chocolate can be a wise move. However, it is true that the fridge is very humid. Before moving chocolate to the fridge or freezer, make sure it is wrapped tightly in plastic cling film or in a plastic bag with all the air pressed out. When you remove it for consumption, leave it wrapped until the entire parcel is back to room temperature. Only then can you remove the chocolates safely.

So why all the fuss about temperature, timing, and handling? It all has to do with preserving chocolate’s delicate structure, which is responsible for its texture, gloss and mouth feel. If the chocolate balance is disrupted, you may end up with unattractive bloom (a term we discuss in another article).

Best Practices

In summary, it’s extremely important to make sure that you store your wholesale chocolate in a cool, dry place away from both direct sunlight and strong odours. If summer temperatures threaten your supply, refrigerate with caution, care and plenty of plastic cling film. With the right conditions and practices, you can ensure that your chocolate products will always look and taste their best.

February 2016

Own Label - Sweet and Sour: Confectionery that makes us 'pucker up'

When is a sweet not a sweet?

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When it’s sour of course! This beloved classic pairing is a source of endless fascination. When most people think of sweets, they expect them to be – what else? – sweet. But for many people, there’s nothing more satisfying than sweetness tempered by its opposite, sourness. In confectionery, these two flavours have proven that they can work harmoniously side by side.

Why Do We Love Sour?

Very few people prefer flavours that are outright or purely sour. The person who enjoys eating lemon wedges or drinking vinegar is rare indeed! But when paired with sweetness, sour flavours can be quite pleasant, as is the case with sour sweets or many varieties of fruit.

The appeal of sweet-and-sour all comes down to a concept that chefs call flavour layering. All humans have five primary tastes – sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami (savoury). Each taste bud on a human tongue is capable of tasting all of these. Combining two or more of these tastes can help to enhance the sensation of the others, as is the case with sweet and sour foods.

Flavour layering can also help you avoid a phenomenon called sensory specific satiety. Humans, as omnivores, are hardwired to crave variety in their diets. You would tire of eating only sweet foods or only sour foods, but together, these flavours produce something new and exciting.

Our Sweet and Sour Favourites

At hf Chocolates, we have a soft spot for sweet and sour confections. Sweet Boutique’s sour cherry hearts will make anyone pucker up with delight, while the sour fizzy worms are as fun to play with as they are to eat. Hope and Greenwood’s sour vintage jelly buttons come in apple, cola, cherry, and lemon, and are all dusted with a generous coating of sour sugar. And if you’re looking for something a bit more unusual, Montezuma’s lemon zest and sour cherry white chocolate bar most definitely fits the bill.

If you’re interested in giving your sweets collection some sour flair, get in touch to discuss how we can make this classic pairing work for you.

February 2016

The Rise of the Jelly Bean

The jelly bean has long been a treat for the eyes as well as for the palate. Read on to learn more about the origin of this classic sweet.

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It’s easy to understand the perennial allure of the jelly bean: just one look at an assortment of the tiny, colourfully glistening sweets is enough to get anyone’s mouth watering. For over one hundred years, the jelly bean has enchanted consumers with its wide range of flavours and chewy texture.

Origins

Jelly beans can trace their family history back to the Turkish delight, a Middle Eastern confection that is at least 230 years old. Like the Turkish delight, jelly beans are based on a gel of starch and sugar, which is responsible for the confection’s gummy interior. A soft sweet shell keeps the jelly beans from sticking together, and helps form the sweet’s trademark kidney bean-shaped profile.

The modern jelly bean forged a public profile for itself in 1861, when Boston confectioner William Schrafft urged his customers to send his morale boosting jelly beans to soldiers fighting in the American Civil War. It wasn’t until 1905, however, that jelly beans sold by the pound were advertised in the daily newspaper, marking the beginning of the jelly bean craze.

Jelly beans are available in a wide range of flavours, from conventional classics such as cherry and lemon, to herbs and spices like cinnamon and mint, to offbeat choices like buttered popcorn, toasted marshmallow, cappuccino, and beer.

In Popular Culture

Today, jelly beans are a classic favourite. During the 1980s, the sweet gained political fame as the favourite treat of U.S. President Ronald Reagan. The Harry Potter series features magical jelly bean sweets that come in a range of surprising, unappetising flavours such as earwax and black pepper.

Here at hf Chocolates, we recommend our own brand Sweet Boutique blend with natural colours and flavours, available both bagged and in reusable clear tins. If you’re interested in stocking these colourful and playful classics, get in touch with us to talk about how we can help to supply a tempting selection for your customers.

Jan 2016

Nuts about Chocolates

The combination of nuts and chocolate is more popular than ever. Read on to see why the confectionery world is going nuts.

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Nuts and chocolate have always been a natural pairing. The meaty richness of one complements the fruity, sweet notes of the other, creating a harmony popularised by confections such as pralines and the iconic Nutella spread. From peanuts to pistachios, you can find just about any nut-and-chocolate pairing among our stock.

A Growing Trend

Though nuts and chocolate have always been popular, the combination is getting a boost from an increased interest in healthy foods. Nuts are an extremely nutritious snack, rich in fibre, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. Associated with everything from heart health to improved cognitive function, nuts are a health food superstar. And pairing them with dark chocolate, another known superfood, only increases the overall appeal. Consumers are increasingly reaching for nut-filled chocolates as a healthier way to indulge.

The nut craze has helped to popularise other, more unconventional choices for confectionery use. Hazelnuts and almonds remain the old standbys, but increasingly, less common additions like pistachios and pecans are stealing the show.

Cost Concerns

Though nuts pack a powerful nutritional punch, they can be pricey. Peanuts (which are technically legumes) remain the cheapest of the bunch, while macadamias and pistachios are usually the most expensive.

However, poor weather can wreak havoc on nut harvests and therefore prices. The recent drought in California, which produces a whopping 80% of global almond supplies, is sending prices into an upward spiral. Fluctuating weather in Turkey, responsible for 70% of the world’s hazelnut supply, is causing prices to yoyo. More expensive nuts might ultimately push prices for nutty chocolates up, or else prompt chocolate manufacturers to change their recipes.

Cost Concerns

Despite fluctuating prices, the confectionery world is still hooked on nuts. We stock a wide variety of chocolate-and-nut products, such as The Grown-Up Chocolate Company’s Very Naughty Nutty Nougat, which is studded with whole roasted hazelnuts.

Another of our favourites includes the more unusual white chocolate bar with pistachios and coffee beans from Meybona. And we would never say no to one of Prestat’s pecan praline truffles! If these tempting treats are making you a little nutty, get in touch to find out more about our offerings.

December 2015

Flavours of Winter

Chocolate suppliers stock seasonally, and we’re no exception. This winter, make sure you’ve got an ample supply of the flavours that tickle the taste buds at this time of year.

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With cooler temperatures and shorter days upon us, the flavours of winter are rolling out across shops and stores everywhere. When it comes to confectionery, chocolate suppliers like us know just what sorts of tastes are in season at this time of year.

Spices

With the cold wind howling outside, you’ll want some warming spices to help fight the freeze! Cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne pepper are all guaranteed to bring the heat. We love Becks’ ‘Hot Winter’ Spicy Drinking Chocolate, which combines premium cocoa with ten warming spices. Topped with a hearty dollop of whipped cream, this is classic cold-weather comfort with a kick.

Fruits

Though winter often means barren gardens and empty orchards in our northern climates, many fruits do flourish at this time of year. Cranberries, for example, are harvested late into the autumn, and will be on the shelves of supermarkets (as well as chocolate suppliers) throughout the winter.

In warmer climes, winter means citrus season. Oranges from Spain and Florida are welcome bursts of tart, fruity flavour in the bleakest of seasons, and clearly some of our chocolate brands agree. Our winter favourite is Meybona’s milk chocolate bar with dried cranberries and orange peel, an oasis of fruit in the midst of snow and sleet.

Nuts

Cold weather also means prime time for nuts, several varieties of which are harvested between early autumn and late winter. Almonds, chestnuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, and pecans all shine when paired with chocolate. The rich, buttery taste of a roasted nut is a welcome sensation to ward off the sharp chill of winter. When we’re asked to recommend products that would appeal to nut lovers, we reach for Booja Booja’s organic hazelnut crunch truffles, or for Ko-Koá’s almond-laden Florentines.

Caramel

A cold, frosty day is the perfect time to indulge in the warming, toasty taste of caramel. Made by carefully and methodically cooking sugar, caramel is a classic winter treat – and a flexible one too. Caramel sauce, butterscotch, nut brittles, praline, and crème brûlée, are all manifestations of this wondrous cooked sugar delight. Toffee, caramel’s buttery cousin, also derives from the same process. If you’re catering to your customers’ caramel cravings, we suggest Divine’s Toffee and Sea Salt Milk Chocolate bar, or Prestat’s dark chocolate and caramel wafers (perfect for snacking).

As experienced chocolate suppliers, we’ve seen many winters in the business. Get in touch if you’re interested in making a winter wonderland from your confectionery display.

November 2015

What is Bloom?

If you’re buying or stocking wholesale chocolate, there are a few things you’ll have to watch out for. Learn how to spot unattractive chocolate bloom before it ruins your display.

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In our years in the wholesale chocolate business, we at hf Chocolates have become well acquainted with the finicky behaviour of the world’s favourite sweet treat. Delicate and fragile, chocolate needs special attention in storing and handling – or it may develop the dreaded chocolate bloom!

What is Bloom?

If chocolate is not stored in the proper conditions, you might observe an unsightly occurrence called bloom. Chocolate that has bloomed loses its glossy shine and develops a grey or white film which might be smooth or rough to the touch. There are two types of bloom - fat bloom, the smooth one, and sugar bloom, the rough one, and either of them can render your wholesale chocolate unsellable.

Fat Bloom

Fat bloom occurs when the cocoa butter in chocolate separates and comes to the surface, forming dull greyish spots or smudges. When chocolate starts to melt and then re-hardens, it often does so unevenly, resulting in the separation of cocoa solids and cocoa butter, the latter of which forms those greasy, uneven smudges. Fat bloom is likely to happen if chocolate is stored in conditions that are too warm. Most of our products are stored at the optimum temperature of 16-18 degrees, though we have cooler facilities for products such as nougat, which require lower temperatures.

Sugar Bloom

Sugar bloom is much less common than fat bloom. Sugar bloom occurs when moisture comes into contact with chocolate. This moisture dissolves the sugar on the surface of the chocolate. As the moisture evaporates, it leaves behind crystallised sugar, giving the chocolate a dusty, cloudy appearance and rough texture.

How to Prevent Bloom

While chocolate that has undergone fat or sugar bloom is still safe to eat, it is unsightly and can seriously affect sales for vendors. It is best to carefully monitor storage conditions for your wholesale chocolate to avoid bloom and the accompanying waste and loss. Make sure your facilities are cool, dry, and away from direct sunlight. With the proper storage and handling, you can keep both your chocolate and your customers happy.

Setpember 2015

Turkish Delight - A Delicious Legend

Our research to find the best Turkish Delight to add to our wholesale range uncovered an unexpected legend about the role of the delicacy in sweetening the sultan’s harem.

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When choosing manufacturers of Turkish Delight to add to our wholesale confectionery range, we stumbled on the intriguing Turkish legend behind the invention of this delicacy.

A Sweetener for the Harem

It is said that the 27th Sultan, Abdul Hamid, was desperate to find a way to quell the rumbling discontent of the 4 wives and hundreds of mistresses who made up his harem and that he came up with the idea of inventing a new sweet whose taste would be so exquisite that the women would forget their grievances and let him live in peace.

The Sultan summoned the empire’s best confectioners to compete with each other to create a confection that would keep his harem sweet tempered. The winner was Ali Muhiddin Hadji Bekir with his recipe for the sweet that today we call Turkish Delight.

Just like the Koska Turkish Delight that features as part of our wholesale confectionery range, Hadji Bekir’s original was a delicacy that was soft and chewy – a novel texture at a time when all sweets were hard and brittle.

Using locally sourced ingredients from his hometown in the Anatolian mountains, the confectioner cooked up a storm using water, sugar, cornflour, lemon, cream of tartar and rosewater. Dusted with powdered sugar, the sweet was called Rahat Lokhoum, which meant ‘soothing to the throat’. It was the marketing efforts of the Victorians that ultimately changed the name to Turkish Delight.

A Must-Have in your Confectionery Range

Retailers who order wholesale confectionery supplies from us mentioned that after the Disney adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in which Turkish Delight played a role, the demand for the sweets in the UK market seemed to rise.

We very much believe that Turkish Delight is not just a treat for the taste buds, but also for the eyes. The Koska version that we supply is packaged in splendid wooden boxes, tins and other packs that recall the tile patterns so common in Turkey.

Let us know if you are looking to include Turkish Delight in your shop and we can help you choose the best ranges and share some of our ideas for marketing it to your customers.

September 2015

Nostalgic Sweets

Nostalgia is a powerful tool to inspire sweet purchases. We help our customers choose the best products from our wholesale sweets to take their customers down memory lane.

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Over the last few years retailers have been reporting a growing trend among their customers for confectionery products that remind them of their childhood. Subsequently we have seen a parallel increased demand for wholesale sweets that look and taste the part without compromising on a more adult sense of quality.

Bringing Back the Flavours of the Past

Our customers who stock retro wholesale sweets – from the independent, nostalgic sweet shops to the cafes and tea houses using confectionery to enhance a vintage ambiance – trade on the multi-sensory experience that our vintage-style confectionery products can give their customers.

The vivid colours in a can of jelly worms are a feast for the eyes and recall the school tuck shop. That fruity, sweet smell generated by large numbers of loose marshmallows, sour jellies and other treats takes customers on a trip down memory lane. And, of course, the taste of rhubarb custards, pear drops, fruit sherbets and dolly mixture is the peak of the nostalgic sensory experience.

As so many retailers tell us that their customers will spend money on sweets that bring back the flavours of the past, we try to help them to create an evocative range for their shop supplies from our wholesale sweets stocks.

Where Nostalgia Meets Innovation

We have also put together a selection of products that retailers can use to offer their customers the traditional confectionery with a slight twist. The 'Sweet Boutique' range is packaged in a classic jar or bag tied with a ribbon, but there are some slight variations on their products that combine innovation with the colours and flavours of nostalgia. They have hot chilli pepper jellies, or for something equally different you can get a jar of bon bons that include a toffee flavour.

The author Tim Richardson who wrote Sweets : A History of Temptation has commented:

"Sweets are the first things we buy, the first things we give, and the first things we trade. We learn about money, we learn about relationships."

It’s not surprising that something that has so much impact on us at such an early stage in our lives should be a trigger that drives sweet sales among the grown up population. If you are looking to capture some of this market in your shop, cafe, department store or anywhere else then we would be delighted to offer you some advice on choosing the right ranges of wholesale sweets.

August 2015

Own Label

We can supply a range of products packed with your own label for your wholesale confectionery orders. Read more to find out whether your business would benefit from selling its own range.

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We offer a service to our customers who purchase their wholesale confectionery supplies from us that can add significant marketing value to their confectionery sales. A selection of the products in our range can be supplied to you packaged with your own label, displaying your company logo and name. In this manner you can sell chocolates to your customers that appear to be produced exclusively for your brand.

Generating Repeat Business

In our brochure you’ll find the small ‘Own label’ mark published next to the wholesale confectionery products whose packaging can be designed with your logo and branding. You can also search for 'Own label' products on this website.

Our customers who benefit most from this service tend to fall into two camps with specific marketing objectives.

Retailers who depend on business with a very clear local flavour find it extremely valuable to offer a confectionery range to their end customers that gives the impression of a product that is created for the local company’s shelves.

The chocolates or sweets can be offered as gifts or souvenirs and have a degree of exclusivity about them which appeals to the market. The wrapping and packaging reminds the customer of where they bought the product and serves to generate repeat business. With own label packaging the product becomes more than just a food, it also holds the status of a memento.

Defining Brand Image

The second marketing objective that own label packaging serves well is the definition and creation of a brand identity. We strongly advise new sweet shops to consider this option since this is a very effective means of bringing their brand to life and establishing the characteristics of their identity as purveyors of sweets and chocolates that are a little different to those sold by their competition.

Unlike other suppliers of wholesale confectionery, at hf Chocolates we have been able to offer the own label service to smaller businesses by making smaller orders eligible too. If you’d like to discuss whether your confectionery sales could be boosted with bespoke packaging then give us a call and we’ll be happy to advise you.

August 2015

Marshmallows

In all our years as confectionery wholesalers we have never seen such a novel application of the marshmallow. The science of the soul has progressed with these tasty treats.

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It’s a significant perk of the industry to know that as confectionery wholesalers one is a key cog in the gratification of other people. Those morsels of tantalising sweetness that we source and supply are conceived, produced, packaged and displayed to give consumers a burst of pleasure.

I was fascinated to read about an experiment that was conducted in the late 1960s in which psychologists in California harnessed the primal positive emotions that sweets inspire in children to explore the mechanisms of the brain that are responsible for self-control.

Confectionery wholesalers and the retailers whom they supply spend their careers dreaming up new and inspirational ways to persuade the public to buy their products. The Stanford University’s scientists found a novel way to use a marshmallow that, I have to confess, would never have occurred to me.

They arranged a challenge for a series of 4-year-olds at their nursery which consisted of a marshmallow and a bell. The children were offered a single marshmallow in a one-to-one session but if they were prepared to wait 15 minutes while the interviewer stepped out then they could double the reward to 2 marshmallows. The original treat was left on the table and the child was given a bell that they could ring to call the interviewer back. However, summoning the interviewer to return so that the marshmallow could be claimed would mean forfeiting the second one.

Most of the children failed to wait much more than 3 minutes and preferred to miss out on the double prize, but those who did have the self-control demonstrated some charming efforts to resist the temptation that had been left on the table, including covering their eyes, singing songs, turning their backs on the marshmallow, kicking the desk, stroking the marshmallow and pulling their plaits.

The scientists who decided on the marshmallow as the tool in their experiment were crafty and cruel. These spongy morsels of whipped sugar not only have an uncomplicated sweet flavour but they lend themselves to delightful and fun shapes. You could not conceive of anything more tempting for a 4-year-old than a marshmallow shaped like a smiling bee, or a colourful handbag.

Every fibre in those children would be yearning for a marshmallow that has been presented as a frosted doughnut or a flower or a cupcake. With their array of pastel colours and novelty shapes, the marshmallow is an inspired choice of temptation!.

Like most of these psychology experiments, the outcome was fairly predictable. One hopes that they all enjoyed their marshmallows in the end!

July 2015

Maximising Deli Sales

Running a deli? Your needs from a wholesale confectionery supplier are very specific to your niche market. Based on years of experience, we offer advice and suggestions for maximising sales.

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In our many years of experience operating in the field of wholesale confectionery we have built an extensive repository of advice on boosting sales of sweets and chocolates for the owners and managers of different business types.

One type of business that has a very specific and niche market when it comes to selling fine confectionery is the deli.

When a deli owner asks us to suggest which of our wholesale confectionery products best suits their shop and how to present these items, we have a few common pointers that we offer as the foundation blocks for a successful loose counter.

Take Them on a Journey

It’s probably safe to assume that most customers who come to a deli are looking for a culinary journey of exploration. They want an experience and an ethos – not just an item of food.

It’s All About Quality

So, just as you might stock artisanal cheese or assorted hams from specialist Italian regions because these things can’t be found in the supermarkets, you should apply the same approach to your sweets and chocolates selection. We recommend that our deli customers focus on choosing confectionery that boasts the highest quality ingredients to meet their own customers’ expectations of deli fare and to guarantee that extra notch above the supermarkets.

For example, we often supply delis with Willie’s Cacao cooking chocolate which is renowned for its superb quality and has great appeal for cooks who are looking to give their chocolate recipes an extra edge.

Something a Little Different

Deli customers are also motivated to shop at these establishments when they have a desire for something just a little different. You can certainly pique their curiosity with some of the Confiserie Adam range of chocolates that we have sourced. Imagine a savoury chocolate: biscuit balls with a centre filling of Roquefort, goats’ cheese or bacon and tomato and coated in milk, dark or white chocolate. It would certainly be a dinner party conversation starter!

It Has to Look Good

Another element that deli owners must not ignore when trying to maximise their confectionery sales is that of visual appeal. The more gourmet and top market products that we supply have tasteful and artful packaging, like the Dolfin blended chocolate bars with their subtle-hued wrappers and their sophisticated imagery. A collection of these unusual blends: chocolates flavoured with lavender or pink peppercorns or Earl Grey tea look extremely attractive on a counter or table display.

Give Them an Experience

Finally, we strongly recommend that deli owners seize the opportunity to create an interactive shopping experience for their customers through their displays and presentation since their market is motivated highly by their experience in the shop.

If you’re selling Becks drinking chocolate then consider running a special promotion of the range and offer a small tasting sample of this luxurious hot chocolate.

Alternatively set up one of your tables with an attractive display of sweets, chocolates and other confectionery arranged on serving dishes to suggest the mood and atmosphere that your potential customer can create in their own home simply by buying your confectionery products.

We take immense pleasure in using the knowledge that we’ve accumulated alongside our main role as a supplier of wholesale confectionery to help and support our customers. However, this wisdom comes from being open minded and we are always on the lookout for new ideas to share. So if you have any tips that have helped you sell sweets and chocolates to your market then please feel free to get in touch.

July 2015

Retailer Tips

As confectionery wholesalers we supply a range of businesses that all serve different markets. However we have found a few common tips that apply to most retailers.

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Over the years many types of businesses have come to us as confectionery wholesalers for advice as well as sweet supplies, and while the needs of a deli differ from those of a large department store, we have identified a few common tips that almost all businesses can implement as a first step towards maximising the sales revenue from their sweet counters

In the first of our series of blog posts on how to boost sweet sales, we look at 3 top tips that can apply to most retailers of sweets.

Tip One: Know Your Sweets

We encourage our customers to take advantage of our years of experience as confectionery wholesalers by talking to us about the sweets that they purchase from us.

We’ve always received reports from retailers about how they feel that really knowing their stock has helped them increase their sales. Many customers have used a deeper understanding of what they are selling to organise their displays and pitch their products in a more market sensitive manner.

We have also helped our customers become, in turn, a source of information for their own customers by telling them the story and background to the confectionery that they select from us. In all industries, and especially in the business of selling sweets, any opportunity to build relationships with your customers will foster loyalty, word of mouth marketing and repeat business.

Tip Two: Think Seasonal

It is obvious that you will want to stock certain types of products at Christmas, Easter and Valentine’s Day but we also recommend that you think about other seasonal patterns outside these big hitters where you can find potential sales that your competitors may not yet be tapping into.

For example, weddings take place in large numbers in the late Spring and early Summer. These events often require confectionery supplies and we have advised many of our customers that this is an ideal time to target brides-to-be and wedding planners with the right sort of delicacies.

Later in the summer the schools break up and it is quite common for school children to buy their teachers some chocolates as a thank you gift. We stock all sorts of chocolate boxes and sweet gifts that don’t cost the earth and would suit a targeted display to attract these potential customers at the end of the summer term.

Tip Three: Look Through Your Customers’ Eyes

We generally find that one very obvious element is frequently overlooked by sweet retailers of all shapes and sizes. Your stock and its display need to appeal as much, if not more, to your potential customer as they do to you.

You could be missing out on some opportunities to maximise the profits from your sweet supplies if you only see things from your position from behind the counter. To change your perspective we often recommend that you walk the routes that your customers follow to (and through!) your shop in an effort to see the products and their display through their eyes.

It’s amazing how many fresh ideas for organising and arranging the sweets and chocolates can develop just from changing your mindset, and these new approaches frequently come with a welcome boost in sales.

Conclusion

There are many, many ideas for boosting your sweet sales, and confectionery wholesalers are usually a great source of knowledge.

Whether you need advice on marketing, specific recommendations for the best ways to maximise your niche market, window and thematic display suggestions, tips for big business or tips for local shops, we can usually offer you something to think about.