Perfect chocolate

It is no secret. Almost anyone who knows me will be aware that I am a confirmed chocoholic. It is supposed to be a weakness that women are more prone to suffer from. Maybe I am just in touch with my feminine side.
I eat far too much of the stuff. I know it is a habit and that it really is not so good for me. I have even given it up for a month a while back – just to make sure that I could do so. I have tried various strategies to cut down, but have not had much success.

So, I started to wonder whether I could turn my addiction to some practical use. It is always said that successful business ventures are always built by someone who has a passion. Maybe it is my turn …

My taste in chocolate is simple. I prefer milk chocolate with no adulterations [like nuts, fruit etc.]. My favorite is probably Nestlé’s Yorkie bars, which I have been consuming for at least 30 years – probably since their introduction in 1976. So, I am more interested in how this kind of product can be subject to innovation than inventing new fillings and suchlike.

Passion for chocolate is not uncommon. Something about the stuff seems to stir emotions and motivate people in interesting ways. Good examples may be found in the history of two very well-known manufacturers: Hershey and Cadbury. Both of these were founded by men of vision, who wanted to improve the lives of their employees. Both founded whole towns to house their staff: Hershey, PA, USA and Bournville, UK. My idea is not quite so ambitious – I would like to harness a modern vehicle for commerce and thought sharing: the Internet.

So, what product can I design which is truly different and characteristic of society in the 21st Century?
We all know that some chocolate tastes better than others. Even though I am very happy with my favourite fix, I would be the first to admit that some of the up-market [=expensive] brands do have something. They seem to “melt in the mouth”. Actually, that is exactly what they do. Finer chocolate has a lower melting point – the best being very close to normal body temperature. [Someone told me of a good trick. When eating chocolate, have a cup of tea – or hot water – on hand and use it to warm your mouth before each bite. This makes cheaper chocolate, with a higher melting point, soften and taste like a premium brand. It works – try it for yourself.]

It occurred to me that body temperature is not an absolute value – we are all slightly different. This is the key to my novel business. It is very fashionable nowadays to have products that are tailored to the preferences of the individual. So, the idea of “custom chocolate” was born. This is how it would work:

  1. Log on to ChocolateJustForMe.com [catchy domain name eh?] and set up an account.
  2. A body thermometer – one of those cheap LCD strips that you stick on your forehead – would arrive in the mail.
  3. Take your temperature.
  4. Go back to the website and open your account [“my chocolate”] and record your temperature.
  5. You can then place orders for any quantity of chocolate you want at any time and it will be labelled with your temperature and be perfect for your taste.

[Please do not disclose this to anyone, but all the chocolate would actually be the same, high quality product. The perception of individuality is all in the mind.]

Please let me know if you would be interested in buying or franchising my product.

I already have an idea for a premium line, aimed specifically at female customers [with even more money than sense]. Recognizing that a woman’s body temperature varies on a monthly cycle, given a set of temperature readings, chocolate for each day would be shipped automatically.

I would need to think about diversification. My daughter has been known to make some mean fudge …

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/embedded-software/2010/03/25/perfect-chocolate/