Nestlé has created a new luxury brand that delivers fresh chocolates, tailor-made for individual tastes.
Maison Cailler is a unique profiling system that consumers can use to discover their ‘chocolate personality’ and share the result with their friends online.
Within 48 hours of using the service, consumers will be sent a box of Maison Cailler chocolates that have been carefully selected to match their individual preferences.
“What we are offering is the perfect personalised chocolate,” says Cédric Lacroix, Director of Nestlé’s Chocolate Centre of Excellence in Broc, in the Gruyère region of Switzerland.
To determine someone’s chocolate personality, consumers first order a box of five ‘tasting’ chocolates to send to a friend or relative, or themselves.
“Chocolate has certain attributes that people distinguish in different ways. It is like tasting wine,” Mr Lacroix explains.
“The first five chocolates arrive with a set of instructions, designed to help people to discover the pleasure of the tasting experience.”
The recipient tastes the chocolates which contain hints of milk, caramel, nut, fruit, flowers, vanilla and cocoa. Then they rate them online using a simple questionnaire.
This allows Maison Cailler to hand pick the perfect selection that suits their taste from an initial set of twelve different chocolates; all new recipes that have been developed for this luxury segment of the market.
Maison Cailler is the latest in a series of innovative personalised products and services from Nestlé’s global research and development network.
This year, in Switzerland, the company launched BabyNes; the world’s first comprehensive nutrition system for infants and toddlers. It followed the earlier launch of pioneering tea machine system Special T in France in 2010.
The ‘haute couture’ of chocolate
Maison Cailler chocolates are identical in shape and size and are either combined in five different assortments, or in boxes of one or two of the same varieties.
They will be made, packed and dispatched directly to consumers from Nestlé’s Cailler factory in Broc, which has been producing fine chocolate since 1898.
“We are offering superior quality chocolates, created using traditional techniques that the Cailler brand has developed over more than a century,” Mr Lacroix continues.
“Maison Cailler is the ‘haute couture’ of chocolate. It is the definition of luxury, inspired by the local Gruyère region and the quality of the ingredients you find here.
“The chocolates’ shape is based on the nearby Moléson mountain, while the packaging incorporates the Swiss art of paper cutting into its design,” he adds.
Presented in boxes of one to five layers, Maison Cailler chocolates are accompanied by a booklet explaining the characteristics of a particular chocolate personality.
The recipient can share this personality online through their personal Facebook profile and also through the Maison Cailler Facebook page.
“Maison Cailler is a response to the changing times we live in,” Mr Lacroix explains.
“People are looking for more personalised products and services, and they are increasingly purchasing these online.”
“We will be able to fine tune the Maison Cailler offering according to consumer feedback,” he continues.
“Although the five main chocolate personalities will never change, soon we will be able to identify nuances. The goal really is to be as personal as possible.”
People can register to set up a personal account on the Maison Cailler website; importing their Facebook contacts and logging the chocolate personalities of their friends.
They will also be able to post questions to the Maison Cailler team.
The Maison Cailler website, which works on all digital devices, will stream live footage from webcams in the chocolatiers’ kitchens; from the Moléson; and from the fields where the cows who provide the factory’s milk graze.
There will even be live footage from a cocoa farm in Equador.
“We are showing consumers that we are a real business, with real people, who work here every day making chocolate for them to enjoy,” adds Mr Lacroix.
Luxurious locations to taste chocolate
In addition to online activity, Maison Cailler ‘profiling stations’ will be set up in a variety of luxurious locations around Switzerland, such as five star hotels.
The temporary booths will give people the opportunity to take the chocolate personality tests with a friend in relaxed and comfortable surroundings.
A new flagship store will open outside the existing Maison Cailler chocolate museum in Broc, where visitors will also be able to discover their chocolate personality.
Maison Cailler will launch at the beginning of 2012. The service will initially only be available in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
A brief history of Cailler
François-Louis Cailler was born in 1796 in Vevey, Switzerland.
In 1819 he bought a small company that sold chocolate. In 1825, he began to make chocolate in Corsier, an industrial area of Vevey.
In 1832, he built his first big factory in the same town. He later built a second.
When François-Louis Cailler died in 1852, two of his sons took over the company and bought a new factory in Vevey.
In 1898, François-Louis Cailler’s grandson, Alexandre-Louis, built a chocolate factory in Broc, in the milk producing region of Gruyère.
The business merged with the chocolate makers Peter and Kohler in 1911.
In 1929, the company was bought by Nestlé. Today, the Cailler brand continues to produce chocolate at the factory in Broc according to the traditional recipes of its founder.