What Do YOU pay for chocolate?

Brad Churchill
11/21/12 04:53:28AM
527 posts

Hi Everyone!

In January I will be opening my third location, after which I will need to plan for and build a commissary to make chocolate for all of my future stores.

For the first few years, the commissary will far over produce what my stores can consume, so I am exploring the option of selling some of the chocolate and chocolate related products (70% dark, nibs liquor, etc) on a wholesale basis to various local restaurants.

The question I have, is for all of you who buy bulk chocolate for your business, what would you typically pay per kg for

  1. a premium quality couverture
  2. milk chocolate
  3. nibs
  4. liquor

I'm not asking for trade secrets here - just prices you are typically quoted by your suppliers.

Thanks in advance


updated by @brad-churchill: 04/09/15 04:33:19PM
Thomas Forbes
11/21/12 03:22:19PM
102 posts

I have been buying 10 pounds of liquor per order. I pay $8lb at one place and $6lb at the other. I am including shipping costs. It comes out about a $1 pound cheaper if you subtract them. When I can make bigger purchases (60 lbs. at one place and 100 lbs. at the other) it will lower the price by about $2 a pound. I know the price for a pound of liquor in the DR at CONACADO last summer was a little less than $2.70 a pound. If you want more information, let me know.

Brad Churchill
11/21/12 05:08:16PM
527 posts

Thanks Thomas.

I'm hoping some chocolatiers here in North America can weigh in and give me some idea as to price ranges they are paying for what I've listed above.

Again, the quantity doesn't really matter, assuming you aren't buying 7 metric tons per order, but rather a few lbs, or few hundred lbs at a time.

Thanks in advance.


Roy McClish
11/21/12 06:08:39PM
9 posts
I just paid $3.75 per pound of cacao beans from plantation to my door in San Diego. Supposed to be a good bean but I'm still a novice.
11/21/12 09:24:46PM
754 posts

Depending on your size (volume), you're looking as low as $2.00/lb, and as high as you can convince someone to pay. average mid size fella (< 100,000 lbs), i'd day is ~$4.00/lb.

Brad Churchill
11/23/12 06:25:58PM
527 posts

Anybody else care to share? I've provided a lot of guidance to peopleon this forum in the last couple of years. It's not often I ask for anything, but this time pricing feedback would be very helpful.

Quid Pro Quo Everyone!

Thanks in advance.


Edward J
11/24/12 03:15:18AM
51 posts

Like others have said, it all depends on volume. Chocolate is a commodity.

If it means anything to you, I buy aprox 1000 kgs per year. I'm paying around $12./kg for a good single origin 70%, and around $10.00 for a good 38% milk chocolate.

These prices were negotiated with the CDN branch of the mnfctr and based on a minimum of 1000 kg/year. One very nice thing I like about the mnfctr. is that their prices are very stable--usually it will only change about every two years-barring any unforseen circumstances. They will give you a 2 mth "heads up" before prices do change.

What you should be doing is estimating your minimum amount and taking this to the various suppliers and asking them what kind of a price they can give you. You know that old saying about asking the price of a Rolls Royce? If you ask suppliers for pricing on a high volume product, you'll get all kinds of answers. Dangle your yearly consumption infront of them, and they'll sit up and sharpen their pencils before giving you a decent price.

In my town (Vancouver Canada) prices are all over the place. For the same Callebaut 70/30 prices can range from $8.00 to $20.00 depending on the supplier and their "story of the day".

If you are using large amounts, it helps to deal directly with the mnfctr or regional sales rep for the mnfctr and NOT local distributers.

11/24/12 10:46:36AM
754 posts

know that between 8-20/lb - callebaut's making an absolute killing on margin...

Brad Churchill
11/24/12 01:28:57PM
527 posts

Thanks Edward and Sebastian!

Very helpful and certainly a reality check for me. These prices are definitely a far cry from the prices I charge retail for wrapped bars!

Clay Gordon
11/26/12 01:01:12PM
1,680 posts


Directly from Valrhona, price for "pistoles" of couverture darks and milks average around US$8/lb for their minimum wholesale order.

Guittard runs considerably less, with their most expensive product being under US$6/lb for their minimum wholesale order but most running in the $3-5 range depending on format and pack.

Callebaut products are generally price-competitive with Guittard, though some of the origins and the Cacao Barry rare origine line are at the high end of the range. Belcolade is at the lower end of the range, generally.

Prices are negotiable to some extent as you go closer to the manufacturer/importer and can quote larger volumes.

In general, it's best to be just slightly less expensive than your target price competition.

clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Brad Churchill
11/27/12 02:28:48AM
527 posts

Thanks Clay. That was very helpful.

Steve Whitman
11/27/12 11:20:57AM
10 posts

Brad - I get Guittard and E. Guittard from a local bakery supply company for about $4.50/lb, buying in 10 - 50 lb orders. Some of it they stock normally, but the E. Guittard they stock for me specifically at that price.

11/27/12 10:52:40PM
4 posts

I am currently buying Callebaut 835 dark chocolate in 11 pound blocks and I am getting it for $3.63 per pound.

antonino allegra
11/29/12 12:04:13PM
143 posts

Hi Brad,

here in South Africa (don't know how much will help you) we sell chocolate at ca $13/kg (71% dark) and ca $10/kg for a milk 38%.setting us in a medium high price range.

We are a small bean to bar organic chocolate factory (1T/month) that sell as well to restaurants and hotels.

we are competing against

A)the big guys (callebaut,vahlrona,lindt,belcolade, ect)

B) against lower level of chocolate (chocolate is chocolate...we hear that a lot here!!)

C)No one else sells organic chocolate, so it is hard to compare "apple with apple" fairly.

I am telling you that simply because if you produce an excellent chocolate and you approach directly Pastry Chefs you will be able to enter the market without problems.

Being a Pastry Chef my self, we have managed to "speak the same language" of the Pastry Chefs of some of the major 5 star hotel in Cape Town.

We offer them chocolate and chocolate solutions,ideas and customer care that makes the difference between us and a just a sale rep of a big guy.

Taste and consistency of course is what will make you competitive but on this, i believe some of us has a lot to learn from you!

All the best with the new shop!

PS: i sent you some chocolate few months ago via a client of us coming back to Canada, have you ever received it? (Cocoafair)


12/03/12 05:45:59PM
110 posts

Does anyone use Blommer's chocolates?

We have used it for family tradition and still like the creaminess of their lexington chocolate.

Direct from Blommer (2000 lb order) I was quoted $1.90/lb- you could tack ona quarter/lb for shipping.

Until we can get to that point, we get it through a local store and have worked out a price of approximately $2.90/lb.

I haven't seen anyone's comments on Blommer and would be interested in your thoughts.

Thomas Forbes
12/03/12 06:08:05PM
102 posts

I have never heard of them but they look to be a large company. After looking at their site, their product list only dark chocolate on some of their products without giving the percentage of cacao solids. These prices indicate they are purchasing bulk cacao. When cacao is fine flavored, the farmer and cooperative/exporter should be getting close to $1.50 to 1.75 a pound for export purposes and sometimes, a little higher.

12/04/12 05:08:13AM
754 posts

Blommer's the largest US grinder of cocoa. They are a bulk industrial producer of chocolate, and they do as well as any of the other bulk chocolate producers. They'll have a range of stock products to select from.

F Schenstead
12/04/12 05:37:59PM
3 posts
I purchase several thousand pounds of chocolate a year, located in central Canada, we find that our premium bar selection has increased sales over the past several years. People seem to be willing to pay more for a premium bar. Our minimum purchase of chocolate for production is a 100 kg. of a type. Lowest price 6.00 per pound shipping in and highest price 11.00 per pound shipping in. Mostly felchlin product. We are also considering qzina product high end at 26.00 bucks a kg.
Greg Gould
12/04/12 06:08:10PM
68 posts

I pay $85 for a 22lb ofcallebaut 811 callets.

Edward J
12/04/12 08:48:30PM
51 posts

Max Felchlin sells in pounds????????????

I'd love to get his stuff in, here in Vancouver, but no one wants to bring it in, and I can't find the head office to ask what minimum quantities they want for Vancouver.

Before you consider Qzina, consider Lindt. They have an office in Toronto and will ship in quantities of 100 kgs.

Jenny Bunker
12/10/12 06:54:28PM
10 posts

I get Callebaut for $3.79/lb here in Alaska from a local wholesaler. I was quoted $12/lb for Vahlrona before shipping, which cost more than the product to Alaska so I stopped there.

updated by @jenny-bunker: 09/09/15 01:48:46PM
Mark J Sciscenti
01/01/13 10:30:09PM
33 posts

Hi Brad,

For premium chocolate I've paid from US $7 to $14 per Lb, wholesale. I have bought from the chocolate makers direct and from distributers. The average has been around $8/$11 but for 100% I've paid up to $14. The prices have gone down somewhat but not much. I buy Felchlin, Grenada, Valrhona, El-Rey, Askinosie, Amano and Waialua Estates. Hope this helps. -Mark

Mark J Sciscenti
01/01/13 10:31:01PM
33 posts

Swiss Chalet here in the US sells Felchlin wholesale.

Jo-Ellen Fairbanks
01/15/13 07:17:59AM
9 posts
Jeffrey -Would you mind posting the name of your distributor? I just paid $6.00/lb for the same product.


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