Romancing the Bar
OPERA IS EXPLAINED by the irrepressible Richard Gere in the equally irrepressible romantic comedy “Pretty Woman” as something that engenders an extreme reaction. “If they love it,” his character said, “they will always love it. If they don’t, they may learn to appreciate it, but it will never become part of their soul.”
One could say America’s love affair with chocolate is born out of a similar level of passion. On the one hand are the ’holics—no explanation needed—and on the other, those who can hold their indulgence to once in a great while. But level of fancy aside, and discounting the universally pitied bunch that cites “allergies” as the reason they don’t partake, it’s quite the venture to find someone without at least one memory that includes sweet, sweet chocolate.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
It’s this precise binding thread that caused Alex Jovetic, vice president of sales and marketing at Cheektowaga, New York-based Taylor & Grant Specialties, to dub chocolate such a powerful promotional product. “If you think back on some of the best times of your life, I would bet that food is a significant part of that,” he explained. Since eating chocolate is such a sensory experience, Jovetic said, “It’s something that tends to hit home and have people remember it longer.” Mary Mikus, corporate sales administrator at Wyomissing, Pennsylvania–based Godiva Chocolatier, echoed that sentiment, especially considering the fact her company straddles both the ad specialty world and the retail sector as a recognizable luxury brand. “The gift of chocolate is all about sharing a world of indulgence with the recipient,” she said.
The idea of “staying power” is an interesting one when taking into account the promotional products industry makes its livelihood by creating, distributing and utilizing items meant to remain static—and thus, keeping an end-buyer’s brand in front of potential consumers at all times. While chocolate’s here-today-gone-tomorrow nature may seem counterproductive, the lasting benefits go beyond the tangible. Reports abound that the intake of chocolate can contribute to the release of positive neurotransmitters and factor into feelings of happiness and satiation, however ephemeral. In fact, a 2007 study conducted by the University of Cologne in Germany and published in The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that 30 calories of dark chocolate a day can lower blood pressure in healthy individuals. Don’t get too excited; 30 calories is only slightly more than one Hershey’s Kiss—but every little bit helps.