Chocolate maker goes for gold

“People love the story of the Solomon Islands and the story behind how the Solomons Gold chocolate came to be,” says chocolate maker Glenn Yeatman, whose factory in Tauranga manufactures a growing range of chocolate and cocoa products.

Glenn Yeatman (right) at the Solomons Gold stand at the recent Auckland Food Show.
Glenn Yeatman (right) at the Solomons Gold stand at the recent Auckland Food Show.

“The story is a big part of what we do – these days, people are really interested in the origins of what they are eating – especially the healthier side of food,” Mr Yeatman, who is also the company’s General Manager told Pacific Periscope after Solomons Gold exhibited its range of chocolates to an encouraging response from visitors at the Auckland Food Show.

The company first brought in Solomon Islands cocoa from Honiara in May 2013 and initially began manufacturing and distributing cocoa blocks, liquor and cocoa nib products for New Zealand chocolate manufacturers and the catering industry. A year or so later, it launched its first Solomons Gold chocolate bar in the retail market, following which it has progressively introduced a range of flavours into the New Zealand retail market.

“We expanded the Solomons Gold range to eight 55g bars. This is because the size is better, they are more affordable than the bigger bars, and people love the new look and added flavours of the Orange and Mint,” Mr Yeatman said. The ‘Dark Orange’ is the most popular, but the ‘Dark Nib’, ‘Dark Mint’ and ‘Dark Smooth’ “are not far behind,” he added.

Solomons Gold prides itself on the high quality of the beans and cocoa nibs it converts into its attractively packaged product line. “As we progress into the market we realise just how unique and special our Solomons Gold chocolate and cacao nibs actually are,” Mr Yeatman said.

What sets apart the Solomons Gold range is not just its unique and exotic single origin cocoa and the commitment to quality and the manufacturing process. “It’s also dairy, nut, gluten, soy free and cane sugar free (in the coconut sap range) as well as non-GMO, naturally organic and made in New Zealand under a strict Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI)-certified Food Safety Plan. Our cacao products tick a lot of boxes,” Mr Yeatman said.

Speaking of his experience at the Auckland Food Show, Mr Yeatman said, “Shows are mainly profiling mechanisms that are very necessary when trying to launch a new product – the positive feedback and amazing comments from people tasting our Solomons Gold chocolate and cacao nibs is worth every minute.”

Mr Yeatman believes Solomons Gold chocolate and cacao nibs are products that have to be sold by people who understand, appreciate and share the company’s passion and vision.

Encouraged by the positive response to its growing range, Solomons Gold plans to add another chapter in the Solomons Gold story. It will launch yet another flavour before Christmas: “Our new ‘Dark Caramel’ has amazing flavours and is still nut, gluten, dairy, soy and cane sugar free (in the coconut sap range),” Mr Yeatman said.

The Pacific Trade & Invest (PT&I) Auckland office has worked with Solomons Gold over time offering marketing and communications support. PT&I also assisted the company with the purchase of a conching machine at its Tauranga factory.

For more details email Joe Fuavao, Trade Development Manager, PT&I, at joe.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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