Though smaller brands have more difﬁculty winning shelf space and consumer purchases than well-established,multinational brands, they often have more ﬂexibility and can adapt quicker to trends and consumer needs.
ob Leavitt loves the looks he gets when people try one of his “internationally inspired” chocolate bars.
Leavitt, who founded Vivra Chocolate in 1984 with his wife, Paige, creates products with adventurous flavor combinations, pairing sweet with heat and floral with citrus. He pointed to the Curry Cashew Bar, which blends warm, aromatic spices and toasted cashews with milk chocolate.
“Sometimes when we are out sampling this new flavor of ours, some people come up to me and ask, ‘Curry with chocolate?’ They give me a raised eyebrow and then try it,” Leavitt says. “You should see the look of surprised delight on their face.”
Vivra, based in Boston, Mass., also offers the Milk Chocolate Thai Satay Bar, with peanuts, coconut, sesame seeds and Thai Bird’s Eye chilis, and the Dark Chocolate English Garden Bar with sweet basil, thyme, Meyer lemon and French candied violets — a far cry from the classic combinations that have pleased consumers for decades.