Woolworths and De Villiers Chocolate have collaborated to launch the retailer’s first in-store DV Chocolate ‘pod’.  The De Villiers Chocolate experience will be hosted at Woolworths’ flagship store at Waterstone Village in Somerset West, in the Western Cape, from September 2017.

De Villiers Chocolate is one of Africa’s first bean-to-bar chocolate brands; made from cocoa beans personally sourced from cocoa bean farmers from around the African continent. Inspired by research indicating that consumers have an increasing interest in the origin of the brands they purchase, Woolworths’ chocolate pod will allow consumers to engage with De Villiers Chocolate through tastings, new product trials and information about the heritage of the brand and its products.

 In line with their Good Food Journey, Woolworths chocolate, and all products under the De Villiers Chocolate label are UTZ certified. UTZ is an internationally recognised body, which supports responsible and sustainable cocoa farming.

“Woolworths uses suppliers who meet our high quality standards, and De Villiers Chocolate offers delicious products that our customers love,” says Woolworths Brand Head of Foods, Glenda Philp. “We are proud and excited about this new collaboration with them,” she explains.

Owner and founder of De Villiers Chocolate, Pieter de Villiers, says the launch of Woolworths’ De Villiers Chocolate Pod offers a new means to stay connected to established brand-fans and hopefully introduces new consumers to the brand. “De Villiers Chocolate’s success is due to direct feedback from our customers,” he said. “We relied on consumers’ responses when we started out selling at a stall at a farmer’s market, and, even though the brand has grown, we still value our relationship with our customers above everything else.”

De Villiers says a one-on-one connection with customers remains vital. “With the launch of the De Villiers Chocolate Pod we will provide consumers with friendly, personal experiences allowing for conversations with brand ambassadors that will contribute to establishing a sense of trust and relationships with De Villiers Chocolate. People will really get to know our story.”

The Woolworths chocolate pod will be a smaller version of the De Villiers Chocolate stores in Paarl and Franschhoek, and will stock the complete range of De Villiers Chocolates. Woolworths customers will be able to enjoy knowledgeable tutored guidance when selecting treats from the De Villiers Chocolate collection.  Seasonal products will be launched on a quarterly basis at the De Villiers Chocolate Pod, with flavour and packaging combinations to complement various seasonal themes.

De Villiers Chocolate started its trade journey at a farmer’s market in 2009, and has since flourished into a nationally loved and recognised brand, with products sold exclusively in Woolworths stores nationwide. De Villiers Chocolate also has stand-alone stores at Spice Route in Paarl and Franschhoek.