We ended Noka Part 1 with a question: Are Noka’s chocolates worth the money? Our consideration begins with an examination of Noka’s pricing. Onward…
Let’s take a look at what Noka chocolates cost. Noka’s prices vary based on three factors: (i) the box; (ii) the chocolate type; and (iii) the number of pieces in the package.
Noka sells its chocolates in two box styles–their stainless steel “Signature Box” and a less costly black cardboard “Encore Box.” (The idea is that you purchase the “Signature Box” the first time, then purchase “Encore Boxes” as refills.) As mentioned in Noka Part 1, Noka offers two styles of chocolates. Their “Grand Cru Collection” consists of thimble-shaped truffles from four countries of origin. Their “Vintages Collection” consists of rectangular-shaped tablets of simple chocolate from the same four countries of origin. Noka offers the “Vintages Collection” in both box styles with as few as four pieces and as many as ninety-six. The “Grand Cru Collection” is available in sets of two, eight, and sixteen pieces in both box styles, and twenty-four pieces in the “Encore Box” only.
In a nutshell: (i) chocolates in the stainless steel boxes are more expensive than those in the cardboard boxes; (ii) the truffles are more expensive than the simple tablets on a per unit basis, but less expensive by weight; and (iii) the more pieces you buy, the lower the price per piece.
With that said, the least charitable approach in assessing the value of Noka’s chocolates would be to focus on the 4-piece “Vintages Collection” in the “Signature Box.” For those who are curious, the price for that is $39. That’s $9.75 per piece. Each chocolate tablet weighs approximately seventy-five one-thousandths of an ounce. (They’re no longer than a quarter’s diameter and no wider than a nickel’s, as you can see here.) So, at that rate, one pound of Noka’s chocolate tablets would cost about $2,080.
The most charitable approach would be to look solely at the 96-piece “Vintages Collection” in the “Encore Box.” That’ll run you $139, or $1.45 per piece. Each piece weighs approximately seventy-five one-thousandths of an ounce. So the cheapest retail rate you’re going to get for Noka chocolates is about $309 per pound.
But we might as well look at the pricing across the board:
Vintages Collection (i.e., molded tablets) — Encore Box (i.e., cardboard).
96 piece — approximately $309 per pound
48 piece — approximately $444 per pound
24 piece — approximately $533 per pound
12 piece — approximately $693 per pound
4 piece — approximately $853 per pound
Vintages Collection (i.e., molded tablets) — Signature Box (i.e., stainless steel).
96 piece — approximately $464 per pound
48 piece — approximately $795 per pound
24 piece — approximately $1,146 per pound
12 piece — approximately $1,760 per pound
4 piece — approximately $2,080 per pound
Grand Cru Collection (i.e., truffles) — Encore Box (i.e., cardboard).
24 piece — approximately $432 per pound
16 piece — approximately $528 per pound
8 piece — approximately $674 per pound
2 piece — approximately $666 per pound
Grand Cru Collection (i.e., truffles) — Signature Box (i.e., stainless steel).
16 piece — approximately $908 per pound
8 piece — approximately $1,339 per pound
2 piece — approximately $1,730 per pound
Let’s compare that with the products of some commonly known chocolatiers. Godiva chocolates range from about $30 to $65 per pound. Joseph Schmidt chocolates range from around $30 to $55 per pound. Fran’s chocolates cost around $55 to $70 per pound. Michael Recchiuti’s chocolates run from $58 to $85 per pound. And La Maison du Chocolat ranges from about $65 to $85 per pound.
Noka’s pricing soars over that of most gourmet chocolatiers by a factor of five, ten, even twenty times or more.
To make some “apples to oranges” comparisons, Noka chocolates cost more than:
- Foie gras — $50 per pound
- Domestic sturgeon caviar — $275 per pound
- American Wagyu and Japanese Kobe beef — $100 to $300 per pound
- Sterling silver — $170 per pound
- Marijuana in El Paso — $350 per pound
- A fat stack of dollar bills — $454 per pound
Who would guess that the world’s most expensive chocolates (several times over) are made in a tiny kitchen shoehorned between a pair of hair salons in a half-abandoned strip mall in Plano, Texas?