Ready… set… chocolate sale! 5 steps to hosting a great one

Fair trade chocolate bars from equal exchange

Do you really need another reason to include more chocolate in your life? Hosting a chocolate sale can help you earn money for your group while offering decadent, organic chocolate bars. In addition to making people very happy, you’ll also be raising awareness about the importance of choosing ethical, slave-labor-free chocolate. You’re only 5 steps away from a successful chocolate sale!

1. Choose the best date for your chocolate sale

Chocolate is certainly a welcome offering any time of year, although we find that it works well to time your sale around chocolate-centric holidays where people are looking yummy treats and gifts. We recommend planning a chocolate sale near Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter or Passover, Halloween, World Fair Trade Day (May 9th), or during Fair Trade Month (October).

Pick a day you know a lot of people will be around. Once you have the date set, it’s time to let people know. To help you promote we’ve created posters, social media graphics and an e-newsletter template. List what payment methods you’ll accept so people will come with cash if that’s what you’re accepting. Here are some additional graphics that you can use to create your own promotional materials.

Chocolate Supply Chain Infographic

You can further educate potential buyers about how Equal Exchange’s fair trade chocolate supply chain is different than most by posting this infographic.

Shoppers buying chocolate at a fair trade chocolate sale table

Setting your sale date will also let you know when you need to order from Equal Exchange to receive your chocolate in time. We recommend leaving at least 10 business days between the time you order and when you want your shipment to arrive.

2. Choose your chocolate selection

Offer a variety that will cater to chocolate fans of different tastes.

When is a Bar of Chocolate More Than Just a Piece of Candy?

For the dark chocolate lovers: Panama 80% Extra Dark Chocolate, Very Dark 71% Chocolate. Dark Hot Chocolate Mix

For those with a sweet-tooth: Dark Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt, Coconut Milk Chocolate, Milk Chocolate. Milk Chocolate with Caramel Crunch and Sea Salt, Hot Cocoa Mix

For those with adventurous tastes: Dark Chocolate Lemon, Ginger and Pepper, Spicy Hot Cocoa Mix, Extreme Dark 88% Chocolate, Total Eclipse 92% Dark Chocolate, Coconut Milk Chocolate

Classic chocolate choices: Dark Chocolate with Almond, Dark Chocolate with Mint Crunch, Dark Chocolate with Orange, Hot cocoa mix

If you want to sell bite-sized dark chocolate minis, buy them in bulk and sell them for $0.25-$0.50 each. We even sell a chocolate mini packaging kit to make 35 small bags of minis that you can sell as a bundle.

Here’s our full wholesale product list so you can see all of the options.

3. Order products by the case

Order online or call the order into our Customer Service Team at 774-776-7366 9-5 Eastern, Monday-Friday. The case unit of measure gets you 12 chocolate bars for $29.60 and cases of 6 cocoa canisters for $32. A vertical display rack is something to consider to neatly show your offering if you have a lot of chocolate to sell.

A woman selecting chocolate bars at a fair trade chocolate sale table

Because chocolate is a consumable product we’re unable to sell on consignment for safety and quality reasons. Purchase only what you are confident you can sell through before the best-by dates

Choose some add-ons to liven up your display like posters, chocolate pamphlets, a sale poster and Power to the Farmer stickers.

View additional downloadable educational resources here.

4. Set pricing for your chocolate

When you buy by the case, each individual chocolate bar costs you $2.47. But you can charge $3, $4 or even $5 a bar depending on your fundraising goals. If you’re not looking to raise any funds but just cover the cost of advertising materials and samples, charging $5 for two bars makes the bars affordable for many people. You can even pre-bundle a variety of five different bars and sell them for a reasonable $15.

If you’re hoping to fundraise and reach a specific goal, here are some guidelines:

By selling each bar for $3, you’ll profit $0.53 per bar ($6.36 per case of 12). If you charge $4 a bar, you’ll earn $1.53 for each bar sold ($18.36 per case of 12).

Cocoas are $5.33 each when purchased by the case, so charging $7 is a fair price that leaves you a modest profit of $10 per 6 canisters sold.

Calculate how many cases you’ll need to sell to reach your fundraising goal. 

Then use this handy product and price list template to input your specific sale items and the coordinating prices.

5. Display your chocolate and put out samples

Based on your mark-up, you can figure out how many bars you can spare for sampling and still make your profit goal. When people sample something, they’re more likely to want to buy it! Put out tongs and a plate of bite sized pieces for people to try. Place the bars for sale right by the sample so people can find everything easily. Consider posting allergen information near the sample (ie, contains nuts, dairy, etc) for safety. Many of our chocolate bars are vegan, and all are gluten-free and soy-free.

a child selects a piece of chocolate from a tray using tongs

Sampling will help you in another way — you’ll have conversations about what people like best and you’ll know what to order next time!

Bonus chocolate-themed activities

Set up a hot cocoa bar and sell customizable cups of cocoa

Host a chocolate and coffee pairing event

Coconut Milk Chocolate Bar with cup of coffee for a pairing

Give an educational presentation (<— under Video and PowerPoint) on how cacao is grown and why fair trade chocolate matters

Organize a chocolate tasting and end it with a chocolate sale

Three gnome dolls sit in front of three plates of chocolate piece samples on plates with tongs.
The Gnomes at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Oregon are offering delicious samples!

About The Author

Bethany McGinnis

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