Ghirardelli New Product Launch

Ghirardelli Baking

Ghirardelli Holiday Squares Launch




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Ghirardelli New Product Launch

Baxter Group Public Relations launches Ghirardelli's new line of baking products and garners critical acclaim, while positioning Ghirardelli as a leader in a highly competitive market.


In late 2005, Ghirardelli launched a new line of baking products with higher cocoa content.  Products included: 60% Bittersweet Chocolate Chips, 60% Bittersweet Baking Bar and 70% Extra Bittersweet Baking Bar. Products and product packaging featured increased cocoa content and cocoa percentages--the new line would be the first major supermarket brand to showcase cocoa content.

Some smaller competitive supermarket brands already started to include percentage of cocoa on packaging although had not yet begun to use it as a differentiator in marketing. And, there was a misconception among consumers and some media about what the optimal amount of cocoa in baking chocolate is (more is not always better).

We used Ghirardelli’s “first-to-market” advantage and premium product reputation to position them as the experts to educate consumers about the optimal level of cocoa content in chocolate and how cocoa content impacts the flavor of both the chocolate and the final baking product.

Press kit


“Dark Chocolate in Today’s Desserts--Chocolate Renaissance Hits the Kitchen”

We created a press kit highlighting both the cocoa content and the new packaging with a product fact sheet, dark chocolate backgrounder and “how to select the right chocolate for your recipe” primer. We included product samples, product photography and recipes that had been developed specifically to showcase the intense flavor of higher cocoa content. We aggressively pitched pertinent national consumer and trade media and local papers within the top 25 markets.



“Ghirardelli Searches for America’s Most Intense Chocolate Recipe”

To create additional buzz and enthusiasm, we partnered with Ladies Home Journal to conduct a National Recipe Contest: “Is Your Dessert Intense Enough?” to generate awareness of Ghirardelli baking chocolate and intensity/cocoa content among the target audience and encourage trial and use among users of competing brands. Baxter Group implemented and managed all facets of the contest including contest theme, advertising, rules, prizes and judging. The contest allowed Ghirardelli to obtain additional publicity for new product long after product first hit the shelves. More than 300 recipes were submitted and contest winners and winning recipes were publicized to local newspaper food editors.

Media Results


More than 350 magazine and newspaper articles with coverage in all top markets, including four syndicated articles and two Associated Press stories.

Highlights included:
Delicious Living
Cook’s Illustrated
Fine Cooking
Cooking Light
Woman’s World
Country Living
Washington Post
Dallas Morning News
Boston Globe
LA Daily News
Sacramento Bee
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Miami Herald
Denver Post
San Diego Tribune


Ghirardelli Baking

In 2004 Ghirardelli hired Baxter Group Public Relations to publicize their award from Cook’s Illustrated naming them as the best-tasting dark baking chocolate.


In preparation for talking with the media, Baxter Group revamped Ghirardelli’s press kit. The updated version was more media-friendly and included information about the company’s proprietary chocolate making process and tips for identifying the differences between premium baking chocolate and mass marketed brands. In addition, we pitched a new cookie recipe that was developed to highlight the brand.

Baxter Group managed full production of press kit and media outreach to long lead Food, Women’s and Lifestyle publications and short lead (wires, syndicates and top daily papers). Our deep relationships with media generated more than 38 million impressions.

Media Results

- 38 million impressions!
- 224 newspaper and magazine articles
- Articles ran in the top markets in 46 states; highlights included:
       Los Angeles Daily News

       Oakland Tribune

       Sunday Times    

       Atlanta Journal Constitution

       St. Louis Post Dispatch

       Marin Independent Journal

       Florida Sun Sentinel

       Pittsburgh Tribune


Ladies Home Journal magazine featured Ghirardelli chocolate as a top brand in a story about tasting chocolate in the October issue.  Additionally, the Associated Press featured Ghirardelli's Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie recipe which generated 200+ articles throughout the country, featuring a full color photo and Ghirardelli photo credit.



Ghirardelli Holiday Squares Launch

Ghirardelli selected Baxter Group Public Relations to launch their new line of flavored chocolates on a national scale in 2004. Peppermint Bark, Spiced Cinnamon and Eggnog flavors were to be launched in bars and assorted container sizes at national outlets.


Baxter Group developed an aggressive media outreach program to support the product launch and drive sales (retail and online) throughout the holiday season, from October through December.

To do so, Baxter Group leveraged the natural news platform that exists with holiday entertaining and gift giving to showcase the new and full lines of Ghirardelli Squares available year-round. To reach the media, we used the strength of the existing brand and superior quality of Ghirardelli to distinguish it from other candy and confection products.

Baxter Group managed full production of press kit and media outreach to long lead Food, Women’s and Lifestyle publications and short lead (wires, syndicates and top daily papers). Our deep relationships with media generated more than 30 million impressions.

Media Results

- 30 million impressions!
- 60 articles featuring Squares with product photos and key messages; highlights included:

      Dallas Morning News

      LA Daily News

      San Diego Union Tribune

      San Francisco Chronicle

      Coastal Living

      Traditional Home

      Woman’s Day
      Taste of Italia
      Manufacturing Confectioner
      Today’s Grocer
      Specialty Food News



2009, Baxter Group LLC