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Is There a Relationship Between Chocolate, Its Packaging, and Gift Appreciation?

November 06 2023 – Dominique Duby

Wild Sweets® By Dominique & Cindy Duby Chocolate Gift Box
Wild Sweets® By Dominique & Cindy Duby Chocolate Gift Box

Wild Sweets® By Dominique & Cindy Duby is a Designer Chocolate Shop that specializes in Local Seasonal Cocoa Bean To Bar chocolate. We handcraft exclusive collections and gifts for family, friends and corporate.

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and chocolate is among the most popular gifts exchanged with friends, family, and corporate clients. It's well-documented that visual appeal plays a significant role in influencing our choices. Attractive packaging and the quality of the chocolate within can make the entire gift more appealing, influencing our decision to purchase it.

While not directly related to packaging alone, our approach has been rooted in a broader concept we've termed 'Brain-Based Eating.' This idea draws inspiration from 'Brain-Based Learning,' an educational approach we encountered during our university studies. It applies neuroscientific concepts to how we perceive, enjoy, and appreciate food in various contexts, including gift-giving.

In this newsletter, we'll explore a few key factors that shed light on the relationship between artisanal chocolate, its packaging, and the overall appreciation of a gift.

1. Visual Stimulation: An artistically crafted chocolate collection and its packaging, featuring vibrant colors, intricate designs, and captivating visuals, can stimulate the brain's reward centers. This visual appeal triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and anticipation. As a result, consumers may experience heightened excitement and desire when they encounter creatively presented chocolates and attractive packaging.

2. Texture and Haptic Feedback: The tactile experience of handling chocolate packaging can engage the brain's somatosensory cortex. Varied textures, such as smooth, embossed, or textured packaging materials, evoke distinct sensory responses. This tactile input contributes to the overall sensory experience and influences how the brain perceives the chocolate gift.

3. Novelty and Surprise: Our carefully designed, scientifically validated flavor combinations aim to provide both comfort and a sense of surprise and excitement. The brain responds positively to these stimuli, making the chocolate product or gift appear more appealing and special.

4. Color Psychology: Color psychology is a well-established field, and colors can indeed evoke specific emotions and expectations. However, individual reactions to color can vary.

5. Emotional Response: The emotional centers of the brain, such as the amygdala and insula, can be activated by a chocolate-making process and packaging that tells a compelling story or evokes special feelings. Ethical and local sourcing of ingredients, seasonal and sustainable practices, and local production can enhance the overall appreciation of the chocolate gift.

6. Aroma and Flavor Expectation: Packaging materials that preserve and protect the aroma of chocolate engage the olfactory regions of the brain. The sense of smell is closely linked to taste, so when packaging retains the chocolate's enticing aroma, it can heighten expectations of its taste.

It's essential to recognize that individual responses to chocolate and its packaging as a gift can vary based on personal preferences, cultural background, and past experiences. These neurological reactions to chocolate gifting are general tendencies, and the extent to which they influence one's appreciation may differ from person to person.

We've often remembered a statement from a food broker we dealt with in the past: 'The lousier the chocolate, the prettier the box.' While much has changed in the premium artisan chocolate industry in Canada since then, it still holds true for price-focused, uninspiring, mass-produced confectionery items, often originating from distant continents, that are stocked in mass grocery and discount stores today.

We can not compete, nor are we interested to make that kind of industrial product. Our focus is to handcraft locally made bean to bar chocolate gifts using locally sourced ingredients and ethical cocoa beans while adhering to the brain-based principles mentioned earlier. Our aim is to provide 'affordable luxury' high-quality, exclusive chocolate gifts that will delight those seeking exceptional confectionery experiences!

Our Designer Chocolate Shop is located in Richmond - Metro Vancouver - BC. We are Craft Chocolate-Makers & Designer Chocolatiers Ranked one of the '25 Best Chocolatiers in the World' / 'Top 10 Pastry Chefs in the World' as well as awarded 'Best Chocolatiers & Confectioners in America'. For more information, visit www.dcduby.com

To view our Chocolate Collections & Gifts selection, please see this link.