President's Choice - History - The Decadent

The Decadent

Nichol, who was both a chocolate lover and a fan of cookies as a product category, decided that he wanted "the ultimate chocolate chip cookie". When it became known that another brand was trying to come up with a cookie that could successfully compete with PC's Chocolate Chip Cookies for the Connoisseur, Nichol decided he wanted a cookie that could sweep the category. Though there were concerns about how practical it was to introduce more natural ingredients, the decision was made to use real chocolate chips and real butter, instead of hydrogenated oil, typically used to ensure longer shelf life. But including more natural ingredients presented its own challenges, such as how to stop the chocolate chips from melting all over the production line. It took supplier Colonial Cookie of Kitchener, Ontario, more than a year to figure out the logistics and come up with a product that met Nichol's exacting standards. Colleague Jim White was the first to sample the prototype cookie:

When the first samples arrived, I asked Jim White to try them. "Are they good?" Jim’s eyes glazed over. They’re beyond good. They’re truly decadent."

On its release, The Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookie contained 39 percent chocolate chips by weight – more than double the leading national brand. It soon became the best selling President’s Choice product and within three years was Canada’s best selling cookie, even though it was available in only 20 percent of Canadian food stores.

Not all President’s Choice products were hits, though. Lucullan Delights, a vanilla crème sandwich cookie designed to compete with Oreos, was introduced a year before The Decadent. Nichol had come across a food critic’s reference to Lucullus, a 1st Century B.C. Roman senator famous for his lavish banquets, and decided he had to use the name. But sales proved slow as shoppers apparently struggled to make sense of the name, even with an explanatory note on the packaging. In 1992, the product was reformulated and re-launched, this time as the “Eat The Middle First” cookie, with a guarantee from Nichol that if you didn’t like them he’d give you a bag of Oreos for free. Sales subsequently rose.

Read more about this topic:  President's Choice, History

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Famous quotes containing the word decadent:

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