ch06 - Chapter 6 Case Study: Ethels Chocolate Lounges Back...

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1 CASE STUDIES The chocolate house dates back to seventeenth-century London, when members of society’s elite would gather in luxurious surroundings to relax and sip hot chocolate. Later, Europeans expanded on that idea and developed solid chocolate treats that sold in upscale boutiques. Lacking the resources and economy of established con- tinentals, bootstrapping American settlers pioneered the development of cheaper chocolate bars for the masses. Centuries have passed, however, and the American palate has tired of the taste of mass-produced chocolate. The U.S. chocolate industry has experienced growth of less than 3 percent since the turn of the millennium, and the lack of industry innovation has left a bad taste in chocolate purveyors’ mouths, too. Enter Ethel’s Chocolate Lounges, named in honor of the matriarch of the Mars family, who founded the candy company with her husband Frank in 1911. Now Ethel Mars’s name adorns the signs at the com- pany’s latest attempt to breathe fresh life into chocolate. Aware that chocolate sales at upscale retail outlets like Godiva and Starbucks grew by nearly 20 percent from 2002 to 2004, Mars opened Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago in April 2005. More Ethel’s Lounges have opened since then, and
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ch06 - Chapter 6 Case Study: Ethels Chocolate Lounges Back...

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