The World's Best Chocolate Shops

By Don Willmott

Joan Steuer, who founded Chocolate Marketing, LLC in 1987 to pinpoint chocolate trends (an enviable job for sure), waxes poetic about the artistry of blue-ribbon chocolatiers. "They use the chocolate much like an artist uses paint," she said. "It's their vehicle of expression, and you're tasting their passion. How wonderful to taste the signature imprint of a living artist"…

Sweet Spots For Chocolate

by Kitty Bean Yancey

In time for Valentine's Day, USA TODAY's Kitty Bean Yancey enlisted chocolate-loving colleagues Veronica Gould Stoddart and Robert Abitbol to test some notable U.S. artisan chocolates. We took recommendations from experts, including Joan Steuer, whose Chocolate Marketing firm tracks trends. "It's an exciting time" for high-end, handmade chocolates", she says. Here's our sampling from seven top chocolatiers…

Retail Notebook: Marketers discover it's all in the bean Chocolate attains a pedigree

By Kristen Millares Bolt

The variety of chocolate bars now available, though, can be dazzling to the consumer. Joan Steuer, the president of Chocolate Marketing in Beverly Hills, Calif., rattled off different types of chocolate bars in quick succession, "Solid, varietals, single-origin, high-percentage cocoa bars (the newest trend), and, her favorite sweet heat -- a spicier chocolate infused with chili and warm spices"…

For the Love of Chocolate

Laura Compton, Chronicle Staff Writer

"Certainly the Bay Area is very visionary when it comes to artisan chocolate," says Joan Steuer, who consults for big and small chocolate companies. "It paves the way for what's to come"…

Ivory Coast cocoa farmers miss high prices

By Loucoumane Coulibaly and Marcy Nicholson

"People are willing to pay the price as they never have been before. They really want the best that they can afford, obviously that's a subjective decision of what you love the most," said Joan Steuer, of Los Angeles-based Chocolate Marketing LLC, which publishes an annual U.S. Top Ten Chocolate Trends report…

No Golden Ticket, But More Than Candy

By Allen Salkin

"These are, generally speaking, smaller companies that have to have something different and seemingly better than what is already out there to get shelf space and consumer attention," said Joan Steuer, president of Chocolate Marketing, a consulting firm based in Los Angeles…

Chocolatiers Jump Onto Gourmet Bandwagon

By Allison Linn

Industry watchers say gourmet chocolate also is getting more popular because of what chocolate industry analyst Joan Steuer calls "self-gifting" — the idea that it's OK to give yourself a little treat every once in a while, or even every day.

"Everybody wants the best that I can afford," said Steuer, who runs Chocolate Marketing LLC. "We want our fine chocolate every day, and we want it for ourselves"…

Sweet Success for See's

By Michele Chandler

"They must give away hundred of thousands of dollars of free chocolate all the time. They've got a strong, loyal customer base because of that," said Joan Steuer, president of Los Angeles-based Chocolate Marketing, a consulting firm…

Chocolate Cafes a Hot Trend

Jeff Roberson

"For women it's like candles and a bubble bath," said Joan Steuer, president of Chocolate Marketing, a Los Angeles-based industry trend spotter. "The whole concept of a place to go and just be with your chocolate and celebrate the experience of chocolate is… wonderful"…

The Sweet Success of Chocolate

By Sara Wilson

"Chocolate is more popular today than ever before," says Joan Steuer, founder and president of Chocolate Marketing LLC, a Los Angeles consulting firm that specializes in strategic forecasting and tracking trends in the chocolate industry. So stop drooling and take a bite of the action. Dark, artisanal, organic, socially responsible and nutraceutically enhanced chocolates are especially hot varieties, according to Steuer…