Here is an article Bella Faccias has found that you all might find interesting. After all, Bella Faccias is all about personalized gifts and making our products a unique one-of-a-kind experience for all our customers.
ENJOY! and Please feel free to comment.
From Joan Steuer, the chocolate market expert found at: http://www.chocolatemarketing.com/top-ten/trends-quater-1/8.html
JOAN'S 2010 TOP TEN
CHOCOLATE MARKET TRENDS
8. MAKE IT MINE OR GIVE ME FRESH, Cracking the Code
Customized means personalized, and consumers will pay more for “just for me”. Years ago, pre-Internet, customized meant "say what you want to say" on a chocolate bar wrapper or a giant fortune cookie paper strip. Or you could create your own message on a molded chocolate bar, but you had to order a designated minimum number of bars. Then Hershey's and Mars jumped into the game — Hershey's with custom messages on their Kiss plumes, and Mars not only offering personalized messages on M&M's, but now custom photos too, can be printed on that tiny centimeter of space on the surface of an M&M.
Even Russell Stover offers personalized images/photos and messages on their online chocolate boxes orders for unique gift opportunities.
If you'd prefer to select your own ingredients for a chocolate bar, there are now a lot of options from ordering a baker's dozen of your own custom nutritional "YOU BAR™" to spending five days at a micro-manufacturer (Askinosie) and working side-by-side with owner/chocolate maker and former criminal defense attorney, Shawn Askinosie in Missouri, to create your own personal batch — 200kg to 400kg of chocolate, or about 2350 to 4700 3-ounce chocolate bars for for a small fortune of $20,000. Askinosie, who is also one of the most passionate proponents of connecting consumers of his chocolate with the farmers who grow it, by featuring farmers on his packaging, states that the hefty pricetag on his custom 4-day chocolate-making camp experience is targeted to "really rich people". There are fewer of that group these days, but fortunately, we have lots of other options for choosing only the chocolates we like best for a custom gift for ourselves or others. Many online chocolate sites offer various box sizes and types, and a system for "hand selecting" the chocolates to go into the boxes.
While choosing your own chocolates out of a bulk case implies a certain degree of "just for me" customized selection, we all know those chocolates may have been shipped to the store months before. Thanks to the Internet, super-fresh chocolates are available via direct delivery, generally anywhere in the country, and often, even overnight. Both mass and specialty retail chains continue to work on "cracking the freshness code" by looking into in-store chocolate cases with touchscreen ordering, and chocolate "concierges" that point shoppers to display units for direct ordering and efficient drop-shipping to shoppers' homes. Unfortunately, the logistics of such programs are not a simple undertaking, and back-end refrigerated delivery continues to stymie progress. In the meantime, luxury artisan chocolatiers keep building their databases small order-by-small order, in an effort to consistently deliver kitchen-to-door fresh-batch chocolates.
Photo provided by Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net