The Chocolate Life

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Hi Everyone!

In January I will be opening my third location, after which I will need to plan for and build a commissary to make chocolate for all of my future stores. 


For the first few years, the commissary will far over produce what my stores can consume, so I am exploring the option of selling some of the chocolate and chocolate related products (70% dark, nibs liquor, etc)  on a wholesale basis to various local restaurants.


The question I have, is for all of you who buy bulk chocolate for your business, what would you typically pay per kg for

  1. a premium quality couverture
  2. milk chocolate
  3. nibs
  4. liquor


I'm not asking for trade secrets here - just prices you are typically quoted by your suppliers.


Thanks in advance


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I have been buying 10 pounds of liquor per order.   I pay $8lb at one place and $6lb at the other.  I am including shipping costs.  It comes out about a $1 pound cheaper if you subtract them.  When I can make bigger purchases (60 lbs. at one place and 100 lbs. at the other) it will lower the price by about $2 a pound.   I know the price for a pound of liquor in the DR at CONACADO last summer was a little less than $2.70 a pound.  If you want more information, let me know. 

Thanks Thomas.


I'm hoping some chocolatiers here in North America can weigh in and give me some idea as to price ranges they are paying for what I've listed above.


Again, the quantity doesn't really matter, assuming you aren't buying 7 metric tons per order, but rather a few lbs, or few hundred lbs at a time.


Thanks in advance.


I just paid $3.75 per pound of cacao beans from plantation to my door in San Diego. Supposed to be a good bean but I'm still a novice.

Depending on  your size (volume), you're looking as low as $2.00/lb, and as  high as you can convince someone to pay.  average mid size fella (< 100,000 lbs), i'd day is ~$4.00/lb.

Anybody else care to share?  I've provided a lot of guidance to people on this forum in the last couple of years.  It's not often I ask for anything, but this time pricing feedback would be very helpful.

Quid Pro Quo Everyone!


Thanks in advance.



Like others have said, it all depends on volume.  Chocolate is a commodity.

If it means anything to you, I buy aprox 1000 kgs per year.  I'm paying around $12./kg for a good single origin 70%, and around $10.00 for a good 38% milk chocolate.

These prices were negotiated with the CDN branch of the mnfctr and based on a minimum of 1000 kg/year.  One very nice thing I like about the mnfctr. is that their prices are very stable--usually it will only change about every two years-barring any unforseen circumstances.  They will give you a 2 mth "heads up" before prices do change.

What you should be doing is estimating your minimum amount and taking this to the various suppliers and asking them what kind of a price they can give you.  You know that old saying about asking the price of a Rolls Royce?   If you ask suppliers for pricing on a high volume product, you'll get all kinds of answers.  Dangle your yearly consumption infront of them, and they'll sit up and sharpen their pencils before giving you a decent price.

In my town (Vancouver Canada) prices are all over the place.  For the same Callebaut 70/30 prices can range from $8.00 to $20.00 depending on the supplier and their "story of the day".

If you are using large amounts, it helps to deal directly with the mnfctr or regional sales rep for the mnfctr and NOT local distributers.

know that between 8-20/lb - callebaut's making an absolute killing on margin...

Thanks Edward and Sebastian!


Very helpful and certainly a reality check for me.  These prices are definitely a far cry from the prices I charge retail for wrapped bars!


Directly from Valrhona, price for "pistoles" of couverture darks and milks average around US$8/lb for their minimum wholesale order.

Guittard runs considerably less, with their most expensive product being under US$6/lb for their minimum wholesale order but most running in the $3-5 range depending on format and pack.

Callebaut products are generally price-competitive with Guittard, though some of the origins and the Cacao Barry rare origine line are at the high end of the range. Belcolade is at the lower end of the range, generally.

Prices are negotiable to some extent as you go closer to the manufacturer/importer and can quote larger volumes.

In general, it's best to be just slightly less expensive than your target price competition.

Thanks Clay.  That was very helpful.

Brad - I get Guittard and E. Guittard from a local bakery supply company for about $4.50/lb, buying in 10 - 50 lb orders. Some of it they stock normally, but the E. Guittard they stock for me specifically at that price.

I am currently buying  Callebaut 835 dark chocolate in 11 pound blocks and I am getting it for $3.63 per pound. 


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