Hot Choccy Brownie in a Mug

A delicious, guilt-free brownie in a mug. Ready in 60 seconds. The perfect recipe to satisfy the sweetest craving, super fast!

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As we grow, you save!

First things first, we at Hot Choccy HQ hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a spectacular and safe New Year celebration.

Last year was brilliant for us, we grew slowly and steadily with thanks to our loyal customers, and our ever growing family of stockists. As companies grow, stock orders get bigger and bigger. As we’ve grown we’ve needed to buy more Belgian chocolate than when we first started, more raw organic Fairtrade cacao powder, more pure organic Stevia extract, more jars…you get the idea.

As such, when companies (like us) order more from our suppliers the price per unit/gram/jar/etc. comes down, meaning the profit per sale goes up. Pretty cool for us right? A lot of companies would pocket that extra profit for themselves, but we at Hot Choccy want to pass those savings on to you, the customers who have been with us for our first year (and a bit).

So from now on our 150g jars will come down from $14.95 to $12.95, and if you buy all seven flavours, the price will be reduced from $89.95 to $77.95. How cool is that!

If you fancy stocking the cupboard with some fresh ‘Choccy Powder’ now, click HERE. If not, that’s cool, because our prices are not changing so hopefully we’ll see you soon when you need some more.

Have a great year, and fingers crossed our 2014 and your 2014 is even better than 2013 was.

We've made some changes!

Wow, how fast has the last 10 months gone? Since launching our Hot Choccy website and releasing our great range of flavoured drinking chocolate powders onto the world in December 2012 we’ve learnt so much. From never having owned or run a business before, to starting our own from scratch, the journey to this point has been both challenging and exhilarating at the same time.

We’ve done a lot right, and we’ve made some mistakes. We’ve received plenty of feedback, a lot of it positive, as well as some very valuable constructive criticism, all of which we’ve taken on board. After all, it’s wonderful to get praised and it makes us feel good, but it’s learning from our mistakes that help us to improve and grow as a business.

As such we’ve been making some considerable changes behind the scenes over the past month or so to bring you an even better product.

1. We’ve changed the name! While our company is still called Hot Choccy, our range of flavoured drinking chocolate powders will now be called ‘Choccy Powder’. We did this because not only are our powders perfect for making hot chocolate drinks, they’re equally as delicious as a cold drink as well.

2. We’ve changed the ratio of raw organic cacao powder and Belgian chocolate! We’ve increased the percentage of Belgian chocolate we use across our seven flavours. As a result, not only will you experience a fuller flavour, you’ll also experience a creamier texture. Win-win! As such the nutritional information has also changed slightly.

3. We’ve added a new flavour! Unfortunately our 07 Lemon Hot Choccy didn’t sell so well, which is disappointing because we loved it and it had a small cult following. But we guess people aren’t ready for lemon chocolate yet, so instead we’ve introduced 07 White Choccy Powder! We had a lot of people requesting a white chocolate version, so we decided to do something about it. We hope you love it as much as we do! So now our range is Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Caramel, Orange, Strawberry, Mocha (formerly Cappuccino) and White.

4. We’ve redesigned the rear label! There’s a lot more information for our customers now. We’ve expanded the list of ingredients to include every single ingredient, not just the compound ingredients of raw organic cacao powder, pure Belgian chocolate and organic Stevia extract. It shows that all of our products are gluten free; our business is Australian owned and products are made using the finest imported ingredients; a minor update of our instructions to remove any confusion; and our full range of social media links.

5. We’ve changed the sizes! As you know our range came in 70g, 100g and 250g varieties, but we’ve done away with the 250g bags and now offer 75g sachets and 150g jars. The packaging is the same, but we’ve filled the jars to the top and now we have two distinctly differing sizes to choose from. As such there is now a new price structure, with our 75g sachets $6.95, and our 150g jars $14.95.

6. We’ve sealed the jar from the inside! Our rear sticker used to curl up over the jar and onto the lid to provide a seal, but some customers in our stockists stores were inadvertently opening them to have a sniff, thus breaking the seal. Now we seal the jars from the inside and have removed the external seal so it is now totally tamper proof.

So there you have it, lots of changes made after receiving quality feedback from our loyal customers.

To celebrate this important milestone in the short history of our company, we’re giving everyone a 20% discount on their online purchases until Sunday November 3. All you need to do is use the code ‘CHANGES’ to receive the discount, but be quick, this offer is for a short period of time only! It’s the perfect little gift for family and friends, that office Kris Kringle gift for your co-workers, and a great addition to any Christmas hamper. Click HERE to start your Hot Choccy shopping now!

Enjoy, and thanks for being a big part of our Hot Choccy journey so far…

The great milk myth

We give away free cold samples of Hot Choccy at markets because we want as many people to try our delicious range as possible. However when we tell people we use full cream milk, some reject the offer citing health reasons. Before I get a chance to explain why we use full cream milk they’ve almost always already moved on. So I thought I’d write this blog to discuss the difference between full cream and low/no-fat milk varieties.

There is this common belief that low fat milk is much better for you than full cream milk, but that is far from the truth. In fact, there is very little difference between the two. See for yourself in the nutritional information of the four milk brands and their varieties below.

Generally speaking when fat is stripped from a food it tastes horrible. So to compensate for that and make it edible, and more importantly for food manufactures sellable, sugar is almost always added.

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Sugar: Good, bad or just misunderstood?

When doing my research for this blog one thing became very apparent – for every argument against sugar there was an equal and opposite argument for. So when I came across this quote, I thought to myself the answer lies somewhere here:

“We actually need sugar; it’s our body’s preferred fuel,” says Dr David Katz, Director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. “We just eat too damn much of it.”

The average woman can comfortably ingest and burn about 6 teaspoons per day, while it’s about 9
teaspoons per day for the average man. That is approximately a little less than is in a can of soft drink. Any more than that and you’re headed for trouble. The average American consumes, consciously or not, about 28 teaspoons per day. I figure we Australians are about the same on the global obesity scale, so putting two and two together I came up with the conclusion that we probably eat about the same amount of sugar.

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Callebaut's Growing Great Chocolate Program

Following on from our recent post focusing on what constitutes Fair Trade, this week’s blog post will talk about Callebaut’s extraordinary Growing Great Chocolate Program.

Along with the fact Callebaut produces incredibly delicious couverture chocolate, one of the reasons we chose their callets to use in our Hot Choccy products is because of the work they do with cocoa farmers in West Africa. The program is designed to work with cocoa farmer cooperatives to produce good quality sustainably grown cocoa, and increase the earnings of the 60 participating cooperatives (approx. 40,000 farmers).

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Why raw, organic cacao powder is also awesome!

Why did we decide to use raw, organic cacao powder in our Hot Choccy products?

Simple, because it is literally bursting at the seams with antioxidants, magnesium and bliss nutrients such as phenylethylamine (PEA), anandamide, and to a lesser extent seratonin and dopamine.

Antioxidants are those little goodies in the body that makes us look and feel young, and because our cacao powder is raw, contains up to twice as many as traditional cocoa powder made from roasted beans.

Raw cacao powder is at the top of the ORAC scale for antioxidants with almost four times the amount of fellow superfood Goji Berries. The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale was developed by the US Dept. of Agriculture to measure the effectiveness of antioxidants to absorb free radicals that cause cell and tissue damage (including cancer).

ORAC scores for the top 10 antioxidant foods per 100g:

1. Raw cacao powder – 98,000
2. Raw cacao nibs – 62,100
3. Roasted cocoa powder – 26,000
4. Raw dark chocolate – 27,900
5. Goji berries – 25,300
6. Acai berries – 18,500
7. Dark chocolate – 13,120
8. Prunes – 5,770
9. Raisins – 2,830
10. Blueberries – 2,400

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What does Fair Trade actually mean?

We see fair trade logos on lots of products these days, but what does the term actually mean?

In a nutshell, according to the bigger fair trade organisations, it’s all about trading partnerships that are open, transparent, respectful, and above all, has greater social equity for everyone involved. Most cacao is produced in West Africa by small, family-run farms. These farmers often have no access to the markets and so rely on middle-men to get their products to global businesses. Often these middlemen don’t pay the vulnerable farmer what is fair.

For producers in Peru where we source our raw cacao from, fair trade means the farmer getting a fairer purchase price than what they might otherwise have been paid. However, for Loving Earth, the supplier of the raw cacao powder we use, it goes further than that.

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Why Stevia is so awesome!

One of the key ingredients in our Hot Choccy range is Stevia (the white stuff in the picture above), a natural sweetener that helps keep the sugar content of our products as low as possible.

Stevia is new to Australia, and while many people I speak to at markets we attend have heard of it and love it, a lot of people haven’t. So I thought I’d write a short blog to give you a simple background on this awesome product.

1. Stevia is a herb originating from South America and has been used there as a sweetener for centuries.

2. Stevia has NO calories (which means no carbs) and NO glycemic impact, making it perfect for diabetics and those looking for a sugar alternative. It will not raise blood sugar levels at all, however if you’re in doubt, you should always ask your doctor (*please note, we also use pure Belgian chocolate in our Hot Choccy range which means there is a small quantity of sugar in our products).

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10 tips for a great market stall

Given my vast experience working at markets (11 at the time of writing this blog post) I thought I’d write about what I believe you need to do to be successful selling your product. Admittedly I’m a novice in this area, but it’s amazing how much you learn on the market circuit in a short period of time. So here are my top 10 tips:

1. Research your markets, there is no point paying to be involved in a market where your product doesn’t fit. Our very first market was for a dog charity and all of the stalls were for pet products. We had no idea, our friend ran the market and asked us to be part of it so we said yes. We make chocolate powder…we didn’t quite fit and as a result didn’t sell much product. In fact we had some people asking if we sold chocolate powder for pets!

2. Do I stay or do I go? At the moment we’re in a couple of markets that are slow for us. You need to do a cost-benefit analysis and work out if the market is really working for you. On the flip side you need to give it time to build a customer base for repeat sales as well as new sales. It’s a balancing act but there comes a point where you need to make a decision whether you stay or leave.

3. Make sure your stall looks great. I don’t think there’s anything worse than going to a market and it’s obvious when a stallholder hasn’t put any time into making their stall look good. It’s a reflection on you and your product, so spend a little extra and make it look great.

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