The New York-based candy maker is promoting the $3 bar — 65% dark chocolate with crunchy cacao nibs — by offering it on Virgin America flights starting this spring.
“It’s a good way to get them into people’s hands,” notes Sarah Endline, company mastermind and chief rioter. “It’s a new product, so distribution is limited at this point.”
Sweetriot’s output is sold mainly at retail via stores like Whole Foods and online at sweetriot.com. Aside from sampling events, the company relies heavily on online media, particularly on community focused tools like social media, to build a relationship with consumers.
“A riot does not happen alone,” she says, noting that social media are viewed as a way to build a “halo effect around consumers and the product.”
The chocolatier’s customer base skews age 25 to 55 and is well educated, with a zeal for life and healthy living, Endline notes. Sweetriot is on Facebook and Twitter and maintains its own blog, where Endline talks about things like the company’s presence at the Fancy Food Show and the art that customers can vote on to adorn Sweetriot’s holiday tins.
She acknowledges that the ROI from social media “can definitely be hard to measure. But you can track if they get referred to the site to shop.”
The company has experimented with specific product offers via social media, but that isn’t the main thrust of the channel for Sweetriot. “We don’t want Twitter to just become a discount channel for the company. We want to use it to build the brand,” she says. “This is no longer the 1950s, where you can just use brand-building TV or print spots. There’s a need for transparency.”