Last year, FOX Business was first to report on a limited-edition chocolate bar from the beans of ancient cacao trees in Ecuador that retailed for a whopping $385 a bar, making it the world’s most expensive treat.
However, that bar has been topped this year, according to the makers, with a new one set to hit the market at a thumping $685 a bar.
Jerry Toth, co-founder of To’ak, an Ecuadorian chocolate company that makes the pricey treats, tells FOX Business that despite the price point, last year’s $385 bars sold out within a month, prompting them to create its latest—and pricer—edition at $685 a bar.
Toth calls the bar it’s “Art Series Blend,” which was inspired by the late Oswaldo Guayasamin—one of Ecuador’s most celebrated artists.
“For the same reason that whisky brands charge more for their older bottles, we charge more for our older editions of chocolate,” Toth says, justifying the hefty price point.
To’ak ages its rare cacao beans for four years in a French oak cognac cask, which drives up the price tag.
Additionally, for the $685 bar, Toth says the product will come with a special edition copper engraved tasting plate and an Ecuadorian bamboo tasting utensil.
While a majority of the company's sales come from its website, the company has also partnered with multiple retailers around the world including Harrods in London, 2beans in New York, Wally’s Wine & Spirits in Los Angeles as well as two locations in China.
Its rare cacao beans come from a native variety known as Nacional that were on the verge of extinction until Toth and his business partner, Carl Schweizer, stumbled across a valley in Ecuador that had a few old cacao trees left a several years ago.
“We actually had DNA tests done to make sure they were 100% genetic matches to the Nacional beans,” Toth says.
To'ak says it has planted a seed bank of cacao trees in Ecuador to ensure production of these beans over the next decade.
The partners later decided to establish To’ak in 2013 and produce limited-edition bars for chocoholics around the world. Since its launch, the company has completely sold out each edition of the bars it has released, with about 100 bars per edition.
“Our trees have extremely low yields, causing us to be limited on what we can produce,” Toth adds.
However if you’re on a budget, the company also offers a $355 chocolate bar that has been aged for two years in a single-malt whisky cask. Its first chocolate bar, the El Nino Harvest, also sold for $275.
“It’s kind of like what you would do with a really expensive bottle of whiskey,” Toth says, adding that most of his customers savie it for a long time and wait for the right moment to break it out.
As for taste, Toth describes his candy as a dark chocolate with caramel and fruit notes with hints of kelp and sea water.