Even if family reunions will not be allowed at Easter, nothing will be able to slow down the consumption of chocolate, according to Jocelyn Bédard, owner of Chocolat Harmonie de Stoneham, to the great pleasure of young and old.
“With the pandemic, people are consuming as much Easter chocolate if not more. It remains a treat. For many people, it’s an opportunity to afford a little luxury, ”said the chocolate maker.
“People are looking for local and fresh produce. Our products, which are currently sold in our kiosks, are no more than ten days old. The big national brands, very often, it is done since June-July of last year. They are passing that on to us this year, ”adds the connoisseur, who fell into the magic potion when he was young since his father was a confectioner and his mother was a chocolate maker by trade.
Last year, sales of Easter chocolate were completely disrupted by the health crisis. This year, everything indicates that it will be different. According to a HelloSafe poll, the budget spent on Easter by Canadians in 2021 is up 36.7% from 2020.
Photo Stevens LeBlanc
Easter chocolate production will continue until the last minute at the Harmonie Chocolate factory in Stoneham.
Chocolate is by far the biggest expense for Easter with an average budget of $ 13 per person. Chocolate even outperforms Easter ham, which remains very popular with half of Canadians, or 53%, consuming it on Easter Day.
Chocolat Harmonie brews more than 2000 kilos of chocolate per week to supply its production line, from which several thousand units can be produced on a weekly basis, from the 20 gram chicken to the 1500 gram rabbit.
All production is carried out in Stoneham in a 10,000 square foot factory. Along with Valentine’s Day, Halloween and Christmas, Easter is the time when it sells the most chocolate by far, says Mr. Bédard, owner. “Easily, it doesn’t compare. At Christmas, it’s very little. On Valentine’s Day, it’s very targeted. We manufacture specific products, but it is weak. Our target is Easter. ”
Chocolat Harmonie, a family business founded twenty years ago, sees the future in a positive light.
“There is a succession that is being prepared. We work with young and dynamic people. We are installed at the Grand Marché, which gives us significant visibility. There is new product development. We do a lot of private labels as well. That’s what helps us during the year. ”
With the labor shortage, the company plans to invest in the automation of its equipment in the coming years.