Sweet Valentine's Connections

 
The biggest day of the year for chocolate is right around the corner, and it’s not too late to plan for Valentine’s Day. Offering chocolate-covered strawberries is a great start, but consider taking your chocolate decorations up a notch this year.
 
Ready-made products certainly can increase your productivity. Barry Callebaut offers the Mona Lisa line of premium chocolate cups and cake/cupcake decorations, and Mona Lisa is excited to announce the launch of their newest cup, the heart bonbon. This premium 63% Dark Chocolate cup is perfect for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day or any other special time of the year.
 
Other eye-catching decorations from Mona Lisa for Valentine’s Day include kissing hearts, flower butterflies, flower hearts and a rectangular chocolate piece with the word “love.”
 
Typically, consumers are willing to spend more on customized chocolate treats. Recent trends are shifting away from the traditional Valentine’s dinner at a restaurant and more toward a personalized celebration at home. Special promotions can help spur higher purchases, according to the National Retail Federation.
 
Here are the top three reasons that consumers say they are willing to spend an extra $10 on Valentine’s Day:
 
  1. A really good sale or promotion — 48.6 percent
  2. Seeing a gift idea for someone you didn’t plan to buy for — 36.4 percent
  3. A free gift with purchase — 32.4 percent
 
JaCiva’s Bakery & Chocolatier in Portland, Oregon, specializes in European chocolates and has thousands of chocolate molds to choose from, so that customers can find the perfect chocolate for any occasion. 
 
Founded in 1986, JaCiva’s offers a substantial assortment of finely crafted European truffles, as well as various molded chocolate items. JaCiva’s chocolates are crafted using the finest European blend and are all made in its chocolate factory on Hawthorne Boulevard in southeast Portland.
 
Frozen desserts are another great option for Valentine’s Day celebrations. PreGel, a leading distributor of specialty dessert ingredients, has transformed some of winter's most delightful flavors into products that create authentic Italian gelato, classic soft serve, and flavorful ice cream.
 
The trending novelty of frozen hot chocolate just exceeded standard expectations with this new hot cocoa flavored powdered mix from PreGel. The sweet taste of soothing cocoa enhanced by the essence of real marshmallows make every bite of this irresistible classic a moment to savor.