Incentive Gourmet shares the process of promoting its latest politically themed confections
Election season can leave a bad taste in one’s mouth, but West Caldwell, New Jersey-based Incentive Gourmet’s custom Chocolect® chocolates are the perfect remedy—at least, that’s what the supplier’s president, David Little, believes. So when the candidates came out of the woodwork, he set to work promoting his politically themed confections with custom touches. The result? A great deal of interest from distributors with campaign stores as well as from local media. When election season kicked off, Little and his team looked to their current offerings for a way to respond to available opportunities in the political arena.
“The ability to write chocolate messages and reproduce images on wrapped chocolates and gift tins is perfect for political news,” he says. Little’s team imbued their trademarked Chocolate Text™ and SelfieTins™ with candidate images and party-themed messaging, designing confectionery “games” such as the Chocolate Senate Chamber Puzzle™ and Presidential Primary Puzzles™. Perfecting these products for the politically inclined end user involved “extensive research,” he says.
“You don’t want to get any facts wrong when you are in the public arena,” he says. To effectively promote the new line to prospective clients, Little says it was important to attend events, speak with politically influential individuals and pundits, and to craft targeted press releases. Challenges on the production side included sourcing appropriate images and modifying the manufacturing process to accommodate lower order volumes of Chocolect™ items. Additionally, products needed to be crafted from U.S.-made materials to qualify for use based on the patriotic nature of election season.
“The packaging needs to be all-American, high-quality and appropriate to the situation,” Little explains. “This might include custom images, ribbons and various USA made containers. Anything with Chinese parts or made is not allowed. Drop-shipping and quick turnaround are also a must-do for us and our clients.”
Little says edible custom products are ideal for distributors working with campaign clients because they can be tied to multiple aspects of a single promotion—in the case of a candidate, earning support from voters and decision makers. “Not only can individual items be given away to create a candidate’s brand recognition, larger items, like glass jars filled with custom candies are perfect for rewarding low-level donors,” he says.
Since introducing the custom political Chocolatext and SelfieTins, Little says he’s begun working with a member distributor who operates a campaign store for one of the Republican presidential candidates.
Since the promotion’s launch, Incentive Gourmet’s products have also been used for a mayoral kick-off, a state assemblyman and a gubernatorial candidate’s campaign. “Everyone loves to see themselves on chocolate, or receive a heartfelt edible message,” says Little.