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Word is that the owners of Valrhona, the Bongrain family, are officially looking to sell the company. Apparently the bloom is off the rose and the company is seen as an underperforming asset. Even the association with La Maison du Chocolat (Valrhona owns LMdC) is not enough to overcome comparatively dismal financial results.

FLASH UPDATE: Apparently my source didn't know what they were talking about. I was contacted indirectly and was told that Valrhona is definitely not for sale. I am going to be meeting with some of the Valrhona people here in the US next week and I will let you know what I learn (and can say) after I have the meeting.

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What do I think will happen?

Probably Cacobarry or Callebaut will gobble them up.

What do I think should happen? Well, look. In a high end restaurant I could sell a Valrohana creation for $10 - $15 and be able to make a profit on it. But high end restaurants and few and far in between and they don't buy a lot of chocolate.

If I wanted to have "bragging rights" by using only Valrhona couveture in my pralines and bon-bons, I'd have to raise the prices by almost 75% in order to turn a dime, alienating myself from my current customer base, and starving myself before I can cultivate a customer base willing to pay for Valrhona. There's no way I could make a profit by using Valrhona in any pastry or cakes either.

It's a volume market, sorry to say. In a perfect world Valrhona would have a "professional line" available only in say, 10 -25 kg packaging, with prices dropped quite a bit lower than the regular line. The pricing would encourage more mainstream use-- a volume market,
That's a very interesting point. Many of other chocolate makers that compete with Valrhona have more than one product line covering different price points. When budget permits, you can use the more expensive line; when margins are tight and the customers are price sensitive, you can use a less-expensive line but still take advantage of the brand name.

Valrhona does not have such a strategy so they are always getting hammered on price - which is worse now because of the relative weakness of the US$.
Good points.

I think they priced themselves out of the market by not doing just that clay-creating a less expensive but still quality couverture for the working chef. Felchlin makes a far superior product line and they are worth the money, Valrhona? Not so much.....but dont say that in public or the chocolate "elite" who have bought into the hype of the over fermented "raisiny" goo will come after you with a vengence.

This is not the place to hold back - I know you like to speak your mind and you put care and thought into what you say. There are no chocolate mind police on the site and I am sure that others here who might not have tried Valrhona chocolate because it is expensive would like to hear what you have to say.
I know you like to speak your mind and you put care and thought into what you say.

There are many who would disagree with that last part bubba. Of course they are wrong, entitled to -and encouraged to disagree.................but wrong none the less.

There are no chocolate mind police on the site

And I have no filter so its a match made in heaven! Thanks clay.


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