Menier Cooking Chocolate with a past and present!
Antoine Brutus Menier founded Menier almost 200 years ago, in 1816. The venture sprang from Menier’s hardware company in Paris. Although not trained as a pharmacist, Antoine began preparing and selling a variety of powders for medicinal purposes. He used the chocolate as a medicinal powder and to coat the bitter-tasting pills and so for the first few years the company's production of chocolate was very limited.
But Antoine was a man with vision, an entrepreneur and innovator. He pioneered the conching, or mixing, process, which made mass production of premium chocolate possible and led to his company’s rapid expansion.
Soon he needed a larger production facility at Noisiel. Initially used as a grinding works for the production of medicinal powders, the Noisiel location was modernised, becoming in 1830 the first mechanised mass production factory for cocoa powder in France.
Following the production of solid chocolate, Antoine introduced a block of chocolate wrapped in decorative yellow paper. By 1842, the success of the chocolate business had seen further growth of the Noisiel plant and by 1853 annual chocolate production reached 4,000 tons.
Antoine was adept at creating new ideas and introduced small sticks of dark chocolate to put into bread. This saw chocolate kiosques spring up on pavements all over the country, their design still used for the familiar French newspaper kiosques. They were so popular that soon everyone was lining up to buy miniature chocolate bars.
Antoine”s unique advertising strategy used posters by Firmin Bouisset showing a little girl writing ‘Chocolat Menier’ on a wall or window. The cute chocolate graffiti became their logo and a symbol of their worldwide success. The original posters and promotional items are still in demand today, as are the reproductions.
In 1878 Menier chocolate won seven gold medals at the World's Fair in Paris and at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago Menier became hailed as the leading chocolate makers in the world.
With production ever increasing came new bases in New York and London, with Menier Chocolate controlled and run by the Menier family for more that 150 years, up to 1965.
The Menier Chocolate Factory in London’s Southwark, lay derelict since the 1980s until reopened in 2004 as an award-winning 180-seat theatre and a popular arts complex that incorporates an art gallery and restaurant.
Today the Nestle Company owns Menier. It is the fastest growing cooking chocolate brand in the UK and the leader in dark cooking chocolate. Its success is partly down to the lengthy grinding process that creates a smaller particle size than most of its competitors. It is this that results in its smooth texture; perfect for that special occasion masterpiece and superior flavour ideal for enhancing a spicy Chilli or the gamey flavours of venison.
Although the dark chocolate is still the consumers’ favourite, the company recently launched a milk chocolate variety. This is proving to very popular and is complemented by the white chocolate bar, which is growing in sales. The combinations of flavours are endless and Menier makes a big difference for imaginative cooking.
For a couple of recipe suggestions to try please click here
If you would like the opportunity to win 5 cartons of Menier cooking chocolate (each containing 20 bars) just answer the following question:
What colour is the wrapper for the 70% dark chocolate?
Send your answer to email@example.com ensuring you put the words Menier Cooking Chocolate in the subject header and also including your unique username with the submission.
Please note this competition has now closed.