Thorntons Lovebirds

Posted by in Chocolate Reviews on January 25 2010 | Leave A Comment
Thorntons Lovebirds

Well Christmas is over and done with, and the next vaguely-chocolatey-holiday is just around the corner. Yes, handily squeezed in just before Easter comes St Valentine’s day.

This 170g offering from Thorntons is, frankly, part of their old school ‘cheap and chearful’ range, rather than the high quality products we’ve come to love recently. It consists of two hollow chocolate ‘birds’ and a single truffle chocolate. I’m not sure why you just get one – unless Thorntons have a secret plan to get couples everywhere to fight over chocolate on Valentines day.

Thorntons Lovebirds

The chocolate here is… basic. Although its decorated with milk and white chocolate, the birds are predominantly a 30% milk chocolate, which is “acceptable” rather than outstanding. It’s more milky than chocolatey and tastes like generic Easter Egg chocolate that’s been moulded into bird shapes.

The heart shaped truffle was surprisingly nice, Very sweet, but very soft and creamy with a distinctly buttery flavour. Perhaps not surprising, given that “butteroil” and “butter” appear high up on the ingredients list. As does vegetable oil, unfortunately.

So, while all in all this might be a fun and inoffensive little Valentines gift, I do find it a little depressing that Thorntons seem to be being pulled in two totally different directions. While head chocolatier Keith Hurdman continues to create some amazing high quality products, there are clearly elements of the company that want to stick to their cheap and cheerful products made with cheap and not-so-cheerful ingredients.

Frankly, I think that’s an outdated view and there’s no reason why something like this couldn’t be made with quality ingredients and presented in more stylish packaging. It might end up costing a couple of quid more, but this is intended purely as a gift for a loved one and I’m quite certain people would pay that little extra for a gift that’s a little more memorable.


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Comments On This Post

  1. Jim

    Dom your review has come up exactly a week before mine and it pretty much shoots along the same line as my own. I think Throntons are a very confused brand at the moment. They are really lacking direction.

  2. rferne

    but Dom, you have to give them credit for the trendy bird motif. The little crests on the head? The funny little oblong bodies? These birds would not be out of place on an overpriced mohair cardigan from Anthropologie (which is American, I’m not sure if you’d know it. It’s about Topshop range in prices).
    Anyways I think as a gift the stylishness of this one’s theme makes up for the so-so chocolate, particularly if the recipient is not a cacau-percentage-counting chocophile.

  3. Dom (Chocablog Staff)

    Jim: I get the impression they’re trying to keep shareholders happy by “sticking with what we know”. It’s clearly not working and consumers expect more now the likes of Hotel Chocolat etc are popping up on more and more high streets. I’m starting to fear for their survival.

  4. “lacking direction”? They’re not doing too bad with £8m profit on a turnover of £214m.

  5. Dom (Chocablog Staff)

    Channel 4 obviously hadn’t tasted the Chococo Love Box I reviewed today. Or anything by Hotel Chocolat. Or pretty much any other chocolate.

  6. Pooky

    I wouldn’t say they’re pulling in two directions, I’d say it’s classic market segmentation. As you say, they have a separate range of ‘classic’, cheap, straightforward products to aim at one segment (not you), and another, more expensive, more sophisticated range aimed at another segment (you). As long as both segments of the market want what they’re offering, and continue to buy it from them, they just have to make sure the ranges are clearly indicated, so people don’t buy from the wrong range and end up disappointed. Price is a simple way of indicating the different ranges, and allows you to make more money too.

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