- Raising the bar on online user-creation sites

by - October 20, 2010

A few bloggers no doubt will have been asked to try this product, but this being The Graphic Foodie, I'm putting a different slant on it. Yes, the product is fun, good quality, delicious and worth the wonga, but the whole experience of Chocri needs highlighting because that is exactly what it is - an experience and an online one to be more specific. Chocri is way more than the end product.

With the increasing popularity of user-creation product sites, I think this idea can have infinite possibilities within the food industry, particularly food gifting, recipe/meal planning and takeaway. Yet so many online companies seemingly go out of their way to create horrendous-scream-into-pillow-kill-me user experiences; hiding baskets, preventing easy amendments or even having microscopic low-quality images of the products they are trying (and failing) to entice us with. So what is it about Chocri that gets it so right?

The gist of Chocri is that you create your own bespoke bar of chocolate from 4 base chocolate varieties and then you can go snooker loopy with your toppings: bacon, gold leaf, goji berries, candied rose petals...the list goes on. With all that variety you are going to make some seriously questionable choices, and Chocri enables you to quickly flick from your creation back to the ingredients, add, or more likely, take away toppings and this is so quick and easy to do - the site has been built brilliantly. You can think twice about your bacon and gummy bear bar in your basket and easily delete or amend it to something more sane and palatable.

And it doesn't stop there. Here are the rest of my highlights:

Detail The topping ingredient thumbnails pictures change depending on which base you pick so you can have a clear idea of what the topping looks like on a white, milk or dark bar.

More detail Each ingredient had been described really well and with some brilliant copywriting for a bit of fun. Ingredients are also clearly listed.

Clear accumulating price. Each ingredient is clearly priced, ranging from 20p to £1.40 so what you pick will really make the difference to your overall cost. A bar can be as cheap as a couple of quid or you could easily rack it up to £7 or so.

Naming You can name your bar, which comes printed on the packaging. This is particularly fun for gifts and occasions.

Mega clear basket You must have noticed how many companies get this wrong. Here you can clearly see what you have ordered and easily make any amendments.

Unique code If you have created a taste sensation marvel, you can reorder exactly the same bar easily with the code printed on the back of your packaging.

Recommended creations This may be missing the point but you can order some pretty good pre-made bar combinations if you experience a mental choco-block, or just use it for a bit of inspiration to get you going.

Copy writing I loved these little surprise messages which were revealed once the bar had been wolfed down. Great brand personality.

The only thing that I was a little disappointed with was the packaging. I mean, it's ok and very on-brand but I would have liked a choice of sleeve (this is all about the customisation after all) and needs to be a little more premium in look and feel. I would suggest a black to make the product shine and maybe a little foil blocked lettering wouldn't go amiss, especially for gifts. The shipping box was also mahoosive and could have been stickered or something as well as being reduced a bit.

Anyway, so what did I create?

This one I called Treasure Island and included dried Orange and Pineapple pieces, Orange Pepper, Golden Pearls and Toffee Pieces on a milk and white duo chocolate base. I really liked it, especially the little heat from the orange pepper that kicks in after the sweetness of the candied tropical fruit subsides. Code 08m2ja if you fancy trying it!

The one in the picture at the top is called Spicy Squirrel mainly because I have a bizarre (bordering on insane) fascination with the little critters. Despite the silly name, this was a little more glamorous bar including dried Sour Cherries, Goji Berries, Ground Chilli, Toasted Hazelnuts and 23 carat Real Gold Flakes. What's not to like? It looked the part too. Sour cherries and chilli are my two favourite chocolate bar ingredients, combining them was heaven for me. Code dqiuv7.

I must admit, this was great fun to do and I was really happy with the end product. So what you waiting for? Go try it out at

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