Thousands of chocolate-loving Kiwis have voted in the first Chocolate Lovers’ Awards, naming Whittakers and She Universe as New Zealand’s finest purveyors of chocolatey goodness.
The online poll, part of the New Zealand Chocolate Awards 2017, invited people to name their favourite chocolate brand or producer and the café serving their favourite hot chocolate. The votes have been tallied and the winners are:
New Zealanders’ Favourite Chocolate Producer: Whittakers
Café Serving New Zealanders’ Favourite Hot Chocolate: She Universe
A fourth-generation family business, J.H. Whittaker & Sons (aka Whittaker’s) started in Christchurch in 1896. It’s the only major bean to bar chocolate maker in New Zealand, controlling its entire manufacturing process in its facility in Porirua. Whittaker’s is known for frequently releasing new chocolate flavours and has also won the Colmar Brunton ‘Most Loved Brand’ and the Reader’s Digest ‘Most Trusted Brand’ awards this year – both of which they have held for six consecutive years.
Whittaker’s Marketing Manager Holly Whittaker, said: “Whittaker’s is honoured to have won the ‘Chocolate Lovers’ Choice’ award in the first year of this competition and we’d like to thank the public for their support.”
“We are fortunate to have strong engagement with our Whittaker’s Chocolate Lovers, and know that they value our absolute commitment to quality and surprising them with delicious and unique new creations.”
With two Christchurch cafes serving 16 different chocolate drinks, She Universe is a fitting winner of the Favourite Hot Chocolate Café Award. Co-owner Oonagh Brown said their hot chocolate recipe has been refined over 10 years. “We have developed a unique system to prepare our hot chocolate to allow the chocolatey flavour to shine.”
As well as 11 flavours of Belgium Hot Chocolate, She Universe offers Superfood Cacao Elixir, Chocochais and Mochas.
NZ Chocolate Awards co-organiser, Kathie Bartley always knew Kiwis loved chocolate – but said she didn’t know how much until organising the awards. “Chocolate Lovers are a passionate and opinionated bunch and they took the challenge to find the country’s best chocolate seriously. We received thousands of votes and as well as the two winners, we have learned of new chocolate producers and have plenty of suggestions of cafes across the country to enjoy hot chocolate in.”
Following judging by a 17-strong panel of experts, the NZ Chocolate Awards announced its Supreme Winners this month; Honest Chocolat Salted Caramel & Buckwheat Milk Chocolate Tablet (Marvellous Marketing Best Chocolate Bar) and Jo’s Sublime Chocolate Salted Sesame and Caramel Bonbon (Chocolate and Coffee Show Best Filled Chocolate).
For a complete list of award-winners visit www.nzchocolateawards.co.nz