The chocolates on aisle nine

It's Valentine's Day and you're snuggled on the couch with your honey watching Hitch, working your way through a nice bottle of wine. How about...

It's Valentine's Day and you're snuggled on the couch with your honey watching Hitch, working your way through a nice bottle of wine. How about some holiday chocolates to accompany that wine? At that moment, your special V-Day somebody presents you with the gift of a heart-shaped box of candy... Russell Stover chocolate candies.

That's kinda sorta how the folks at Russell Stover would like your Valentine's Day to go. According to this story in Ad Age, sales of higher-priced, more gourmet chocolates have been going up while Russell Stover, the biggest box chocolate seller in the country, has fallen a notch. So they're adding Private Reserve options and fancy flavors to compete.

I've blogged before about upscale fashion labels coming down to the price-point of the masses, ie Viktor & Rolf at H&M or Proenza Schouler at Target. But I don't know if it so easily works the other way. Consumers believe that a brand with a perceived high taste level can take that same aesthetic and apply it to something in their price range. But it'll be a lot harder for Russell Stover to convince people that the chocolates sold at the local drugstore are now fit for a special occasion.

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