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Chocolate Cost and Weight Breakdown

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Hello Fellow Chocolatiers!


I am working on calculated appropriate prices for my handmade chocolates. It's absolutely shocking that after 10 years of making chocolates, I never really dared to delve into the nitty-gritty cost of goods. And when I worked at a chocolate shop that was never a concern placed on my plate.


So, I have attemped (with my horrible lack of excel spreadsheet skills) to figure out my cost of goods (including labor and packaging). Somehow, I must be doing something terribly wrong, as my costs worked out to be about $1.50 to make ONE PIECE. That seems outrageous! Granted, that did include using locally made bean-to-bar chocolate from a small producer. My business-partner-to-be is helping me sort it out (thankful that she and excel have a much better relationship). However, I need some information that is don't have at the moment and thought you guys might be able to help fill in the gaps.


1. For the sake of comparison, with cost of ingredients and labour (no packaging) how much does is cost you to produce one chocolate?


2. For those that make the fairly standard 22.5mm square enrobed chocolates, are you able to tell me how much and individual ganache square weighs pre-enrobing? How about post-enrobing? I know how much my ganache cost, but I don't know how many grams per piece to allot for the enrobed chocolate coating. And I am not in production right now so I can't test it out. If you can share it would be so helpful.


ETA: can anyone tell me the same for one of their molded chocolates?


Obviously there are variables like the height of the ganache and the size of the mould, but at least it would give me an idea. 


many thanks!


Edited by ChristysConfections (log)

- Christy -

"My rule is to welcome you with hospitality and to send you away in peace." - The Deserts Fathers

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$1.50 in COSTS for one piece does seem quite high.  It may make more sense to break it down into food cost only, packaging, labor, and profit margin.  Also allowing for waste and things like parchment paper & gloves used while making.  Calculating food cost in metric is SOOOO much better!!!  (Happy Canada Day)


I make slabbed truffles that are cut into 22.5 x 22.5 x 15mm squares that are 9-10g each (average 115g per dozen)  I don't enrobe them.


Here's a rough breakdown on cost for my salty caramel truffles, my most popular flavor - for 1 ganache frame


1200 g chocolate @ $14/kg = $16.80

225 g butter @ $7/kg = $1.60

400 g sugar @ $1.14/kg = $0.45

400 g cream @ $4.25/kg = $1.70

salt, vanilla bean, cocoa powder = $1.00


total $21.55, cut into 225 squares = 9-1/2 cents each.  But in practice I usually cut the edges off for samples so yield is reduced to 196 pieces at 11 cents each. 


So 11 cents each and 12 in a box is $1.32 in food (ingredients) cost for that item.  Packaging is 35 cents for an inner clear box, 75 cents for a custom printed outer box, and 10 cents for an ingredients sticker for $1.20 in packaging.  All packaging pieces could be less expensive if bought in large quantity.  So this box of 12 truffles is $2.52 so far.


Labor and overhead are much more nebulous.  Some days I seem to spend hours watching chocolate melt, others are super productive.  If active time on 1 frame of truffles (including mixing, cutting, dusting, and packing) is an hour and yield is 16 boxes then I need a dollar or more per box for labor.  Now we're at $4 for ingredients and labor (if I want to pay a living wage and am as fast as I want to be).  MSRP is $12.


Overhead like rent & utilities should be a consideration, but not really your problem.  Just make sure to allow enough margin that all the bills get paid eventually.  Is the shop only chocolate or lots of other stuff? 


Rent is fixed but chocolate is seasonal and winter holidays subsidize the slow summer.   In restaurants we always tried to keep food and labor costs below 30% each - as far as possible if there is to be any profit.  Adding in packaging increases labor hours and expense and decreases the percentage allowed for ingredients.  It kind of sucks. 


I have to do nutrition info and other tedious stuff, should probably take a good look at food cost, so I feel ya -  wait a second, this is exactly what I was avoiding by being online! :ph34r:




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