Scharffen Berger is an established US chocolate maker with a focus on sustainability, and in particular, it seems their approach to sustainable farming. The company has gone through a rebranding exercise to focus on this aspect of its business, which underlines the value of sustainability as a competitive edge.
As the company explains on their website, its focus is on preventing deforestation associated with Cocoa production. Working with a Brazil-based consultant, Henrique Souza, who owns a 30-hectare cocoa farm in Jaguaquara, Bahia, Brazil, uses land which they converted from degraded pasture to rainforest. Souza and his wife live on the farm self-sufficiently and, following what is now considered GAP, use the land to create a diversified income, not only from Cocoa but from growing Acai, honey, and more.
This syntropic agroforest model, is something the company says it wants more Cocoa farmers to adopt in Brazil. They help promote this through local workshops, training and by sponsoring seminars. Ultimately, they hope to play a part in protecting the rainforest, which, as we know, has suffered a big setback after Brazil’s president Jair Bolsanaro loosened deforestation laws.
The deforested area of the Brazilian Amazon increased by over 20 per cent in 2021, when compared to the previous year. This was the fourth consecutive year recording growth in the annual deforestation rate. The deforested area in the Brazilian Amazon neared 11 thousand square kilometres in 2020.
For the first time in its 25 year history, Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker is unveiling a major brand overhaul, designed to reflect the farm-to-bar process and fine quality of the chocolate and position the company for future growth. While the rebrand will be the most visible of the changes, Scharffen Berger has been making enhancements behind the scenes to ensure manufacturing, operations, innovation, marketing, sales and company leadership are aligned and prepared to take the brand into its next quarter century of success.
Leading the next phase of the Scharffen Berger roll-out is JP Mackey, president and chief sales officer. Mackey brings two decades of sales and commercial strategy leadership, with a focus on food brands in early to high-growth stage. His previous roles include chief sales officer for Cauilpower, vice president of sales for barkTHINS, and executive vice president of sales at Kernel Seasons.
It’s a remarkable opportunity to work with this team of owners and operators to renovate and relaunch a brand with the history, legacy, and future opportunity of Scharffen Berger,” Mackey stated. “We’ve always had the quality and belief from craft chocolate purists, now we have branding that will stand-out on shelf and in the marketplace that truly reflects the distinctiveness of what Scharffen Berger offers.JP Mackey, president and chief sales officer
From a product standpoint, the Scharffen Berger blends will remain constant and there are exciting new products and product formats coming to market starting in fall 2022.
Chef-preferred Scharffen Berger Baking Chocolate will now come in baking portions, with four individually wrapped 1 oz. bars in each envelope, in 62%, 70% and 99% cacao varieties. This format will be easier for consumers to use and will result in less waste than the previous 9.7 oz. bar option.
Scharffen Berger’s core line of three-ounce bars—currently offered in 41% Extra Rich Milk Chocolate, 62% Semisweet Dark Chocolate, 70% Bittersweet Dark Chocolate and 82% Extra Dark Chocolate—will add four new flavors: Milk Chocolate with Coconut and Costa Rican Coffee, Milk Chocolate with Almonds and Sea Salt, 70% Dark Chocolate with Salted Almonds and Toffee and 70% Dark Chocolate with Cherries, Almonds and Salt. These new flavors will be available starting in late Q4 2022.
Finally, Scharffen Berger is launching Chocolate Provisions by Scharffen Berger, which feature 20 9gm dark chocolate flats in a variety of flavors, packed in a cracker-like sleeve box, bringing a sweet solution to building charcuterie/cheese, dessert and brunch boards. Look for Chocolate Provisions to launch in time for Super Bowl entertaining and the spring holiday season in early 2023.
In addition to Mackey, the Scharffen Berger team has expanded in order to fuel the growth and change needed to lead the brand into the future.
Chocolate maker, Ray Major, has joined Scharffen Berger as a full-time member of the team. Major has been consulting with the organization since it was returned to private ownership. Major has been in the confection industry for more than 45 years and brings his extensive experience and unparalleled chocolate making expertise to his role at Scharffen Berger.
Additionally, Scharffen Berger added veteran marketing leaders to its team, bringing Karin Zannella aboard as vice president of marketing and Keith Scott as head of performance marketing and e-commerce. Zannella is a brand, shopper marketer and strategy leader with an exceptional record of delivering sales objectives and gaining exposure for premium and luxury brands, including JoJo’s Chocolate, Godiva Chocolatier and Illy, among others. Scott brings two decades of brand-building and luxury goods experience to Scharffen Berger, having led marketing for wine and spirits brands such as Tanqueray, A to Z Wineworks, and Sterling Vineyards.