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22 comments | Leave your own

  1. Simply Life

    those up-close pictures are sooo tempting!

  2. L-Izzle

    Wow…yeah…I just kinda wanna bitchslap their marketing people for being demented.. What the hell.

    Oh well…at least they’re producing good chocolate…it makes it harder for me to hate them. Which, in turn, makes me hate them even more. So many conflicting emotions!!

  3. Fiona

    what was the surprise inside?

  4. Kath Lockett

    I love the close up photo – can…. almost….. reach…. it…..

  5. Lauren

    Oh man, “our loving amigos.” My Gender Politics in Comparative Perspective (a.k.a. “Boo globalization! Boo World Bank!”) professor would not have taken kindly to this. And those “peaces” are the icing on the cake! But I suppose good taste counts for something.

  6. whisperinggums

    The packaging is NOT appealing on so many fronts.

  7. Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella

    LOL I love the term crankypants. It’s so evocative! And yes don’t you hate it when you like something you don’t want to? lol

  8. Shannon (The Daily Balance)

    food marketers always pull that stuff — so annoying!

    glad that it was tasty, though 😉

  9. Hannah

    Simply Life: I try! 🙂

    L-Izzle: Exactly how I feel. How dare they play with my mind and my emotions like that! Also, I’ve never been able to justify buying their choc-coated nibs, because they charge something like $4-5 for an ounce tin. That’s 28 grams. I’m sorry, but nibs are not crack.

    Fiona: I almost wrote about that in the review – I have no idea. I definitely didn’t get a toy or anything. Maybe the surprise is the do-gooder feeling the consumer is meant to get?

    Kath Locket: Swapsies some Harry’s Peanut Butter Rocky Road for this?

    Lauren: Good ol’ gender classes. They leave nothing sacred 😛

    Whisperinggums: Far too busy for your liking too, I’d assume!

    Lorraine: I promise not to be wearing them if we ever have a Sydney rendezvous! 🙂

    Shannon: Do they ever! And it’s really worse, I think, that it was good. I’m so conflicted now! 😛

  10. Vaala

    Why’s it called an unBar? Looks like a bar to me! So they call it a mega piece? Strange. But if it tastes good complaints tend to go out the window!

  11. Hannah

    Vaala: I have no idea why! I think this company thinks they’re super clever with wordplays, but really… it just comes across as silly (at least, that seems to be the consensus here!) They were good though, if you like the strong taste of cacao nibs as I do!

  12. croquecamille

    You know, I don’t think I’d ever even consider buying this, because the packaging is so stupid. Glad it was good, though! (Those emotion-meddling bastards!)

  13. Louise

    I wouldn’t buy something that looked like that either. And you know with all these unanswered questions I had to check it out…. “why is it called an unbar?” What are the credentials behind the claims?” Their website is informative even if also annoying. I think the unbar bit is the “unofficial bar of”. And their claims to improving the world involve buying fair trade beans and urging people to reuse or recycle the tins.

    Hope your cold is getting better soon, it’s dragging on now isn’t it?

  14. Hannah

    Camille: I actually avoided buying them for a long time, then succumbed to the appeal of nibs. But I’ve realised I actually wouldn’t get them again – definitely would opt for Valrhona’s Guanaja with Nibs instead (which I mean to review eventually :P)

    Louise: It finally, finally is getting a bit better. And it better not come back! I assumed the claims would relate to something like fair-trade, but I still don’t like the way they go about marketing themselves – it still screams gimmick to me!

  15. Amber Shea (Almost Vegan)

    Ok, this makes me a TOTAL dork and I know it, but your thesis actually sounds fascinating to me!
    I hope you write more about Munich! I loved it, but only got one night there. And I didn’t get a chance to go to Berlin at all :’[
    I am NOT the chocolate connoisseur you are, so you’ll probably laugh at this suggestion, but while you’re in Germany, if you haven’t already, you should totally try a Kinder bar! Any variety. Though they are super-sweet…they’re CANDY bars, after all. But, well, my uneducated palate likes them an awful lot :]

  16. Hannah

    Amber: It doesn’t make you a dork, it means you belong to a select few of incredibly intelligent, amazing, and wonderful people 😉 I shall indeed write a bit more about Munich, though sadly it shall be devoid of delicious eats as my cold was at its heights there and I spent most days in a cloud of pain and rye bread.

    I would never, ever laugh at a chocolate suggestion! Super-sweet has its place too. We have kinder surprises and kinder buenos in Australia, is it the same brand? I’ll keep an eye out!

  17. Amber Shea (Almost Vegan)

    ::Blush:: Aw, why thank you!
    Hey, rye bread’s good too…any pretzels?
    Yup, same brand :]

  18. Hannah

    Amber: I just call it like I see it 😀 No pretzels, sadly! Just a lot of rye bread…

  19. Sarah

    Hannah – I just wanted to comment as I always appreciate directness and honesty in commentary.

    I totally understand the perspective that you don’t really know how we are fixing the world. We feel the same frustration as small wrappers do not give us any room to share real detail. We have some of it on our website here…. One of the most important things we do is source and produce directly in Latin America to impact farmers and workers’ lives there. We are also changing the next sweetriot unBar wrapper version to showcase more artwork from emerging artists.

    My personal background is in non profit and international development (not capitalism), and I always dreamed of starting a company that really made a difference. I also wanted the tone to be light and fun and approachable… like the fun of Ben and Jerry’s.

    I wanted to ’embed’ social change in the way we do business every day… I sought out a manufacturer where cacao is truly grown, decided to only use reusable, recyclable packaging, feature emerging artists on our products, and we only use natural, healthy ingredients. I realize we could do more, but as a small company, it’s tough. There are always trade off’s, and no company is perfect that is for sure.

    We are all ears on what else we can do to make a difference in the world… so please send ideas our way.

    And lastly on pricing, we produce at small volumes and import on our own — it definitely makes it expensive — however, we could and are always trying to do better… we want the whole wide world to enjoy all-natural, yummy chocolate with a social mission.

    Mastermind & Chief Rioter
    (aka, Founder & CEO)

  20. Hannah

    Sarah: Thank you for your response – I really do appreciate that you took the time to write and share your intentions and aims with us here. I must admit (as my post’s title indicates :P) that I may have let myself run on a little bit in this review, as I spent my entire last year analysing the marketing claims of ethical products, many of which seemed less than legitimate upon invesitgation. As such, I have become quite wary of social/environmental claims where these claims are not overtly explained. However, you make a good point about the smallness of your packaging, and as Louise and yourself have indicated, there is certainly information to be had on your website for those dedicated to learning more about the concept.

    I look forward to seeing your new packaging, and it sounds like you’re really working hard to make your product the best that it can be in this world. That’s definitely something to applaud. And really, the chocolate is quite delicious.

    You mention wanting the whole world to experience yummy chocolate with a social mission… I do hope you’d think about including Australia in this at some point! There are definitely those of us Down Under who enjoy trying new chocolates, especially those that have nothing to do with Cadbury or Nestle…


  21. whisperinggums

    Fascinating discussion … Sarah, your company sounds great and it would be good to get that across in your packaging (somehow). I don’t envy you your challenge BUT it would be great to see your gluten and dairy free chocs downunder.

  22. Ithaca Fine Chocolates Quinoa Art Bar - Wayfaring Chocolate

    […] find it interesting that Sarah of sweetriot mentioned her company’s plan to start featuring up-and-coming artists on its packaging, as I have […]

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