Organic Meltdown Sweet Candied Orange

Posted by in Chocolate Reviews on November 23 2009 | Leave A Comment
Organic Meltdown Sweet Candied Orange

Back in July, Simon reviewed two Organic Meltdown bars and gave them a fairly positive write-up, so I was keen to try this when I found it in Waitrose.

But before I get to the chocolate, I want to talk about the branding. Half of the front of the wrapper of this bar is taken up by the words “Eating this chocolate saves trees”, along with Fair Trade and Organic certification logos. Obviously, this is a good thing, but I was curious about the branding and the fact that Organic Meltdown seem to be relying almost entirely on the concept of saving trees to sell the chocolate.

Upon opening the wrapper, you’re told that you have already saved a tree by purchasing the bar and given a code to enter into the web site to “keep tabs on the actual tree that you’ve helped save”. It doesn’t tell you that you need to register on the web site to make this work – providing them with your name, email address and date of birth. Nice.

There’s a logo for an organisation called the World Land Trust, but nowhere could I find any mention of how I’m saving a tree or what ‘saving’ actually means. I could argue that I save the tree outside my flat every day by the simple fact that I don’t chop it down. By that definition I’m not actually contributing anything at all, but I’m still saving a tree from destruction.

I think it’s absolutely vital that if we’re going to support causes by buying heavily branded products like this, we should at least know how they are using the extra few pence we’re spending. “Brand Stand” – the company responsible for Organic Meltdown seem to be at least as concerned with the branding than the cause itself. With a name like that, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised.

Organic Meltdown Sweet Candied Orange

With that rant out of the way, let’s get to the chocolate. At 58% cocoa solids, it’s definitely not one of the darkest I’ve had, and there aren’t really any strong cocoa flavours, but it’s not overpoweringly sweet either. It might not appeal to hardcore dark chocolate aficionados, but those with a slightly sweeter tooth will really enjoy it.

The orange flavour is natural and refreshing. There’s a nice hint of citrus, but again, it’s nothing too overpowering.

Organic Meltdown Sweet Candied Orange

As you can see, the candied orange is uncoloured, and adds a very pleasant texture to the bar. There’s enough of it that you get a few small pieces in every square, and it really is quite pleasant.

Unfortunately, I got a large, hard, fibrous piece of something that I hope was orange in one of the first chunks I tried. It was completely inedible and I had to spit it out, but I’m prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that was just a one-off.

Overall, I really quite enjoyed the bar and managed to scoff the whole thing myself. I’d certainly recommend it to dark chocolate virgins, but if you’re buying this to ‘save a tree’, you’re going to have to do your own research to figure out where the money is actually going.

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Comments On This Post

  1. I had a guy phone me trying to sell me shares in a company that was saving rainforests (amongst other things). Needless to say, I kept my money.

    The branding on this product reminds me an awful lot of that attempt at scamming me. I hope its not a scam, but it sounds a bit dodgy.

  2. Louise

    Anyone interested in finding out more about Organic Meltdown chocolate and how it’s saving trees can do so under the FAQ on the Organic Meltdown chocolate website.
    http://www.organicmeltdown.com/faq/

    Or you can read about the forest that’s being saved by chocolate lovers here http://www.organicmeltdown.com/projects/main/

    I can assure you Ashleigh that there’s nothing dodgy about Organic Meltdown or the World Land Trust, which is a very respected charity that has been running for 20 years to help preserve the world’s most biologically important and threatened lands.

    As chocolate lovers you’ll no doubt be aware of the exploitative history of chocolate production. This is a genuine attempt to ‘give something back.’

    Pleased you liked the chocolate Dom! There are three other flavours in the current range too.

  3. Dom (Chocablog Staff)

    Louise: That FAQ page is written *entirely* in marketing speak.

    Can you explain to me simply and clearly how my purchasing this bar led to a specific tree being saved?

  4. Simon

    I have been waiting for samples of Organic Meltdown’s rebranded bars for a while now, but I think Postie must have eaten them while out on his rounds.

  5. Louise

    Yes I can Dom. Here’s how it works…

    Brand Stand and the World Land Trust identify woodlands that are in danger, and estimate the number of trees that live there.

    Each bar of chocolate is assigned a number which relates to a tree in the endangered forest.

    For every bar of Organic Meltdown that’s sold, Brand Stand makes a donation to the World Land Trust to save a tree.

    The trees are then owned by local conservation groups and managed by the World Land Trust, an international charity established in 1989 and based in the UK.

    Thus, they are saved from destruction.

    The exact amount per bar to save a tree depends on where the tree is located, the age of the tree and the size of the forest it’s in. Organic Meltdown is currently working to preserve a forest of more than 500,000 trees in Ecuador.

    I appreciate that not everyone is interested in saving trees or preserving habitats, but Organic Meltdown’s aim is to give chocolate lovers the chance to help save trees if they wish :-)

  6. Dom (Chocablog Staff)

    Ok, thanks Louise. I don’t know why the wrapper/website can’t just say that in plain English too though!

  7. The chocolate bar sounds delicious whether or not it’s saving a tree.

  8. Gary

    The whole thing is a complete and utter joke. Stopping “global warming” (when the earth is cooling), stopping “climate change”… ridiculous nonsense.
    Protecting trees on some steep slope that would have never been in danger anyway is hardly an important mission. It’s a marketing scam, and don’t fall for it. You know these folks are laughing all the way to the bank.