Chatting with Vosges about "pork and beans"

TED sponsor Vosges specializes in luxury chocolate products. They’re providing a suite of delectable chocolate tastings at TED2009 in Long Beach and Palm Springs. The TED Blog sat with Vosges to ask whether the success of the flavor combination of their most famous product, the bacon chocolate bar, was a surprise:


Vosges: It wasn’t a surprise to us. We thought it was awesome. But we didn’t know how the public would react to it. Katrina Markoff had this fascination with bacon and chocolate in years prior. When she was a kid, she always loved to have chocolate chip pancakes and bacon. She loved how the sweet and salty interplayed with each other. She struggled for years for ways to bring it to life. The first time she did it was at her wedding. She did a chocolate pudding cup and a hot spear of bacon. She passed it to the guests, and the guests would use the spear of bacon to eat the pudding. And everyone went bonkers over it.

We get so much press for it. People come to us after discovering the bacon-chocolate bar. But when we put it out there, it was a little bit risky. It’s meat and chocolate, for one. No one had really done it before. Then, we weren’t sure what the vegetarians would say. When we launched the product, we sold out within a month or two. We realized we had to make more and more of it. And that’s our top-selling product. We still get a mixed reaction from people, but I think the mass reaction is, people love it. When Katrina launched the company, when she did curry and chocolate, people were looking at her cross-eyed. But that was 10 years ago. That was long before there was this huge movement in chocolate to make it more of a savory element, and not just a dessert item.

Photo: TED / Michael Brands