Do you love chocolate? Yes. How much do you love chocolate? Very much. Would you spend a lakh to buy 15 pieces of chocolates? Ummm. That’s how I was introduced to ITC’s ‘Trinity – Truffles Extraordinaire,’ which now holds the record of being the world’s most expensive chocolate.
Costing a whopping Rs 4.3 lakh a kg, these chocolates have displaced artisan chocolatier Fritz Knipschildt’s (Denmark) Le Madeline au Truffle’s 2012 Guinness World Record record to become the ‘most expensive chocolate'.
The main ingredient of the Le Madeline au Truffle is the rare French Perigord truffle, which is what gives it the exorbitant price tag of $250 per piece.
But what is it that gives ITC’s new luxury chocolate an even more premium costing? Available in three variants, the chocolates bring together unique ingredients from different corners of the world. For instance, one variant contains toasted coconut ganache infused with rare Tahitian vanilla beans. Another variant is made from a blend of Ghana dark chocolate and Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, which is one of the ‘most expensive and sought after chocolate in the world.’ The third variant consists of St Dominique dark chocolate sourced from the ‘extreme west.’
“Chocolates is a highly profitable business. It's a made to order product and we expect to find buyers in Diwali. We don't expect to sell tons of the product as it is specially catering to a niche market,” said Anuj Rustagi - COO - Chocolates, Food Division, ITC to CNBC-TV18. “We have received interest from a couple of HNI buyers. We are worried that demand may exceed expectations,” shares Rustagi.
ITC, which rolled out the premium Fabelle range of chocolates in 2016, has been trying to make a crack in the luxury chocolate market. Over the last couple of years, ITC has been selling these chocolates only through old boutique stores in its luxury hotels.
The company hired international chefs and developed a sourcing network especially for ingredients. Only recently, ITC forayed into the mass market with the launch of specific chocolates that can be sold at grocery stores. “Chocolate is a big profitable segment...growth rate at our small base is in triple digits,” said Rustagi, without sharing exact details.
After all, chocolate is happiness that you can eat!