Quality Chocolate and Shelf Life plus need for refrigeration at retail level
Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques
You bring up some interesting points with shelf life. What I currently do for retail sales is to make an extra box that will be for display only. The owner of the shop puts it out with a sign about the chocolates (the fillings, the ingredients, etc.), and the sign directs potential customers to inquire at the counter to purchase a box. There is a cooler at the counter, and the chocolates are kept there. Your comment on the availability to the customer is very true--this method of storing the chocolates discourages any impulse sales. Worse for sales, I seal each box in its own clear plastic bag and include a note that the chocolates should be allowed to come to room temp before opening the bag; bitter experience tells me condensation will certainly form otherwise, but I have had no issues with humidity with my method. I know that experts recommend against refrigerating chocolates, but an owner of a shop will be determined to keep them as long as needed to sell them, and I am concerned about shelf life enough to insist on refrigerating. All it takes is one spoiled ganache to ruin a reputation, and maybe even somebody's health. People are used to drugstore boxes of chocolates that will last practically forever and don't tend to think of bonbons as "spoilable." I have found my system to work well in two different shops (one a florist, the other a lunch spot), and if the staff calls attention to the existence of the chocolates, they do sell. I think one key is having the box on display so customers can see what they are getting.