And Now It’s… Chocolate Season!

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +
SPONSORED LINKS END OF SPONSORED LINKS

In Canada, the first half of winter—from cold-weather fall to Christmas—is chocolate season. The pumpkin craze has run its course and all the candies collected on Halloween were gobbled up without or without parental consent (looking at you, Mark and yes, I hid the bag AGAIN). We just had to find a new favourite seasonal food. And of course, this “need” was dictated by industry folk and marketing professionals counting the number of chocolate boxes they’re able to shift as if they were striking the australian online casino real money.

I didn’t make it up. I have sources—my neighbourhood supermarkets.

The retail industry planted the idea of Christmas in my mind the first week of September, when I noticed 2017 Advent Calendars for sale. “Hell no!” I muttered to myself, staring at the fancy display. “Way too early.” I still hesitated for a second because the LEGO Advent Calendars I didn’t even know existed until last year were featured, and they sell out fast. I checked the price. $39.99. Yeah… no. I’ll buy Mark the usual until he begs for a fancier option—he hasn’t noticed these ones yet.

Christmas always gets a foot in the door through popular Advent Calendars popping up in aisles before Halloween, as if every single Canadian household had to stock up just in case kids celebrating Christmas would totally forget about the whole gift thing on December 24–25. There are basically three kinds of calendars. First, the fancy non-edible ones from LEGO, Playmobile, Play-Doh (?!), Crayola (??!) and every single trendy toy franchise. They offer 24 mini characters or accessories and are usually between $30 and $60. A few days before December 1, late shoppers will find them at much higher price listed on Amazon or eBay and labelled as “collector” items. For around $10, you can also buy the regular 24-chocolate calendar from Kinder or Lindt. And if you don’t feel like splurging because all the treats will probably be eaten by December 7, there are many $1 options, although the chocolate isn’t as good. Mark got the Kinder version—I have it right here, hidden in my drawer. He hasn’t found it yet.

The very same night kids were trick-or-treating and filling their bags with candies, supermarket employees took monsters and anything orange and scary away and put chocolate on display in several aisles. Not just chocolate, actually, but “festive treats,” “yummy gifts,” “decadent stocking stuffers” in marketing speak.

Yeah, well, it’s still “just” chocolate.

You’ll find the usual brands—Lindt, Kinder, Cadbury, Ferrero, Godiva, but also any confectionery that includes chocolate as an ingredient, like Toblerone, M&M’S or Skittles. The products are the same, the only difference with Halloween or Easter is the packaging. Boxes and bags all feature Santa, Christmas trees, snowflakes or snowmen to convince consumers they are making a smart seasonal purchase. I find it a bit deceptive. Give me something new, something unique, better chocolate instead of rebranding the same products over and over again!

So, is winter the perfect season for eating chocolate? In Canada, maybe. Cocoa butter melts near body temperature (37 °C), so a piece of chocolate is way more likely to turn into a delicious gooey mess in your mouth than in your hand, considering the weather.

I’ll probably buy a box of Lindt too at one point.

And then, I’ll hide it.

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Holiday season chocolates in supermarkets, Ottawa, November 2017

Share.

About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

13 Comments

  1. We have the Kinder version too … twice. I didn’t hide them, they were with me when I bought them and I even let them choose 🙂 ces deux dernières années j’avais une version maison, avec un calendrier en bois que j’avais peint. Mais les cases sont un peu petites et je n’ai pas vraiment le temps cette année. En plus, l’an passé, B. était déçue chaque fois que ce n’était pas un chocolat dans la case (je tournais entre chocolat, petits jouets, petits mots …). Un effort mal récompensé lol!

    Tu en as un pour toi aussi? Pour Feng ?

    • Oui, je me souviens de ton beau calenderier maison! Peut-être qu’elles apprécieront plus l’effort quand elles vont grandir, le côté perso et unique. N’abandonne pas l’idée!

      Non, moi je n’en ai pas (sauf si je m’en achète un, mais bon, ça gâche un peu le plaisir). Quant à Feng, il n’en a jamais demandé, il est plus bonbons que chocolat 😆

  2. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah Christmas!
    I did feel like the stores here were late.
    I mean they waited AFTER Halloween as really over to put all the chocolate and Christmassy things out.
    Because of that I even had some troubles with my secret Santa project!
    Here we don’t care much about Christmas. We don’t buy advent calendars, or make some, or never even mention what Advent means to the kids I think.
    And the chocolate. I don’t know, after Halloween, even if most of the candies and chocolates are still here, I just feel like eating everything but sweets.
    It’s actually the time of the year when I am just like «why don’t we go vegan/eat living food/eat super healthy food?»
    With school last year we had to make cookies for the cookies exchange but we don’t do much more than that. And the gifts.
    Maybe it’s just me… but I think we are not fun at all at Christmas!
    At least this year we will decorate the house. Probably.
    And we will try to plan a super exciting birthday party for the big boy turning 7 on December 31st 🙂
    (ok, maybe not too exciting, but he will have a cake and candles)
    Oh well… thank you, I am now a lit bit depressed.

    • I’m not super into Christmas. I know some folks are and it’s awesome, but since Feng didn’t grow up with the tradition(s) and we don’t have family here other than my in-laws who aren’t into Christmas for obvious reason, it’s… meh. I mean, if I want a nice, traditional Christmas, it’s pretty much up to me to carry it on and frankly, I don’t feel like 😆

      Your boy has a cool birthday! Bet you had an interesting birth story, must have been a crazy night!

  3. Martin Penwald on

    I really like “Le Chocolatier” brand, they do good stuff, but I’m not sure they distribute their products Canada wide. It’s a small chocolate factory from Canmore, AB. You can find it in AB, and probably in BC too, but I don’t know if they sell it somewhere else.

    • Martin Penwald on

      I’ve just check their website, and they sell only in very few places outside Canmore. Their main distribution seems to be the “Save On Food” stores through Alberta, and a few gift shop besides that.

      • I’ll keep it in mind if I see it in Ottawa!

        Ce qui me manque, ce sont les Pyrénéens. Quand j’étais petite, je faisais le détour par Monoprix en revenant de l’école pour… ahem… en piquer un ou deux dans les bacs!

        • Martin Penwald on

          Ça a vraiment l’air d’un petit truc, ils vendent ça dans le coin local dans les Save-On-Food de l’Alberta.
          On peut commander en ligne, cela dit :
          lechocalatier.ca
          Je n’ai jamais été un grand amateur de chocolats fourrés, je préfère une bonne tablette de chocolat (noir, blanc, au lait, peu importe). J’aime bien Lindt, dont on peut trouver les produits un peu partout.

          • Je suis un peu pareil, je préfère la simplicité! Je m’offre une boîte de Lindt un peu plus “fins” de temps en temps, mais sinon, j’aime le chocolat basique. Les trucs avec du chocolat + plein d”ajouts (noisettes, caramel, etc.) c’est pas mon truc.

            Comment tu as trouvé cette marque? Tu es tombé dessus par hasard? (Là, gros fantasme : j’imagine ton camion rempli de chocolat à livrer quelque part…)

          • Martin Penwald on

            Ben non, c’est juste que quand je suis arrivé en Alberta, j’ai fait le tour de ce qui existait en dehors de Walmart, et il y a quelques Save-On-Food bien placés, et c’est la seule chaîne pour laquelle j’ai la carte de fidélité.
            Et ils ont un petit présentoir en milieu d’allée avec un panneau “Produits Locaux”. J’ai trouvé là aussi du miel au citron pas mal du tout, mais je ne me souviens plus de la marque.

            Sinon, en plateau, je ne fais plus de produits d’épicerie, mais j’ai déjà fait des complets de chocolat en France. Au Canada, j’ai déjà fait un complet de sirop d’érable, livré sur Saint-Louis, MO.

Leave A Reply