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Ghirardelli Review

Thursday, May 30th

2024 Chocolate Store Reviews

Ghirardelli Review 3.5 Star Rating

Ghirardelli

3.5 Star Rating
  • Famous for chocolate squares in many flavors
  • Pick & Mix is a popular choice
  • Options for easy gift-giving
  • Free shipping on orders of $75+ (with some exceptions)
  • Save 15% on your first order with mailing list sign-up
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB

You may have been pronouncing it wrong this whole time, but Ghirardelli is a household name when it comes to good chocolate. With a history going all the way back to the 1800s and its first brick-and-mortar store in San Francisco, to today when its famous squares and bars are on the shelves of most supermarkets, Ghirardelli chocolate is a reliable favorite.

Squares in both new and familiar flavors

And, of course, Ghirardelli squares are the most iconic type of chocolate in this brand. Who hasn't had the pleasure of breaking open a square and rushing to eat all of the yummy caramel in the middle? Of course you can get that flavor through Ghirardelli's online shop, but you can also try out brand-new flavors before you can find them at your grocery store. At the time of our review, Milk Chocolate Caramel Waffle Cone was the latest to hit the virtual shelf, and we're here for it.

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Pick & Mix your favorites

Another great reason to get your Ghirardelli's from their website is the Pick & Mix option. Offered at a 15% savings during our most recent visit, this option lets you mix-and-match from 15-500 squares in a bag, tin, or box, with 5 or 25 squares of each flavor you select. So, in the 500-piece Pick & Mix (priced at $169.96 prior to the discount), these were the available choices:

  • Milk Chocolate Caramel Waffle Cone
  • Assorted Bunnies
  • Dark Chocolate Macchiato
  • Milk Chocolate Caramel
  • Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel
  • White Chocolate Caramel
  • Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Milk Double Chocolate
  • Dark Chocolate Mint
  • Dark Chocolate Raspberry
  • Intense Dark Chocolate Crispy Rice
  • Intense Dark Sea Salt 60% Dark Chocolate
  • Intense Dark Chocolate 60% Cacao
  • Intense Dark Chocolate 72% Cacao
  • Intense Dark Chocolate 86% Cacao
  • Intense Dark Chocolate 92% Cacao
  • Intense Dark Sea Salt Almond Dark Chocolate

As you add to your Pick & Mix box, there's a helpful indicator at the bottom that shows you what percentage of the box you've filled. You can also click to see which ones you've already selected, so that you don't miss any favorites.

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Cocoa, bars, and chips, oh my

There are a few other ways to get your chocolate on at Ghirardelli, like hot cocoa and chocolate bars, as well as bags of chocolate chips for baking (including 5 lb. bulk sizes), but it shouldn't be a surprise that the star of the show here is the famous square.

Good for giving as a gift

Ghirardelli makes gift-giving easy, whether you choose a ready-made gift arrangement or you build one on your own. Start with the Gifts section of the online store and go from there. You'll add a gift message during checkout, and your order will ship shortly after it's been received. (There's no scheduling your gift to go out in advance, unfortunately.)

Shipping gets spendy when it's sunny

If there isn't a 15% off promo in place when you're ready to buy your Ghirardelli chocolates, don't worry. You can sign up for their emails anytime and get the same discount. You'll find that at the bottom of the page. You'll also get free standard shipping if your order is $75+, no promo or code required. However, that's impacted by the destination of your chocolates: sending them to Florida in April, for example, means that you'll be paying for FedEx Expedited (which was $37 on a $60 gift basket we tested out sending).

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Reputation is definitely not an issue

Ghirardelli's reputation is hard to beat. The chocolate store is "A+" rated and accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and customers rarely have anything bad to say about the treats themselves or about the experience of buying them online. While we'd love to see reviews on individual items in the store, that's almost unnecessary given how well-known Ghirardelli's chocolates are overall.

A dependable (but maybe a bit boring) chocolate store

That "commonness" of Ghirardelli is what keeps it from ranking a little higher on our list, though. While certainly better than average, Ghirardelli chocolates are somewhat ordinary compared with some of the chocolate stores' selections we tested out. Even the new flavors released here aren't what we would call novel or legendary, just dependably likable. Ghirardelli is the right choice if you need that kind of consistency (or you're gifting someone who's really particular and, shall we say, non-adventurous), but for a top-shelf, foodie-level experience, you'll need to look elsewhere.

Where Can You Find the Best Chocolate?

Chocolate is more than just a sweet treat; it's a global phenomenon deeply entrenched in cultures worldwide. Its popularity transcends borders and generations, captivating taste buds for centuries. But what makes chocolate so beloved, and what factors contribute to its widespread appeal?

First and foremost, chocolate's allure can be attributed to its irresistible taste. The combination of sweetness, bitterness, and creaminess creates a sensory experience like no other. This flavor profile stems from the main ingredient: cocoa beans. These beans undergo a complex process of fermentation, drying, roasting, and grinding to produce cocoa solids and cocoa butter, the building blocks of chocolate.

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Chocolate Store FAQ

According to the World Cocoa Foundation, people around the world - mostly in the US and Europe, not surprisingly - eat enough chocolate to equal three million cocoa beans every year! Chocolate is the most popular sweet tooth-satisfying dessert almost everywhere.
The sky's the limit. Do you have a favorite brand like Godiva or Hershey's? You'll find every imaginable variety when you shop online. Are you looking for a unique flavor combination or a gorgeous assortment of hand-dipped caramels and truffles? You can get that too. The difficult thing will be holding yourself back from buying all of them!
Supporting small businesses and shopping local is great - and your closest candy shop may even sell their products online too. But, there's no guarantee you'll get the kind of chocolate you want if you limit yourself to brick-and-mortar retailers you can drive to. And, if you're ordering chocolate to give as a gift, you'll probably have more options for gift packaging and shipping when you buy from an online chocolate store.
Chocolate! (Just kidding.) The best chocolate stores make it easy to see the different types of sweets they sell and how much you'll pay, plus any shipping costs you should expect. Some stores have fun promotions that can save you money or double the amount of chocolate in your order. You can also consider what other customers have said about their experience with the chocolate retailer: how the treats taste, if the deliveries arrive on time and in good condition, and how any problems were resolved by the customer service team.
It can be - but it doesn't have to be. If you're buying chocolates in large quantities and exotic flavors, of course you should expect to pay more. But, chocolate stores usually have plenty of options for people shopping on a budget too.
That depends on the chocolate store. Some give you free shipping to earn your business, but you might have to place a minimum order amount to qualify. It should be fairly easy to determine what, if anything, you'll pay for delivery as you browse their website.
Yes, most of the time. Online chocolate stores want you to be thrilled with the sweets you get - after all, word of mouth is great for advertising, and they'd love for you to tell everyone you know about the amazing chocolates they sell. If your chocolate doesn't arrive in perfect condition, or something is just off with the taste, contact the customer service team. It shouldn't be hard to get a refund or replacement order.
Yes, yes and yes! Some chocolate shops provide numerous options for gifting, from mixed assortments to hard-to-find varieties in beautiful gift wrapping. You could even choose a chocolate club membership that will literally be a gift that keeps on giving, with new packages arriving every month for three months to a year.
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Continued from above...

Nowadays, chocolate production and consumption are staggering. According to the International Cocoa Organization, global cocoa production recently reached over 4.8 million metric tons, with the top producers being Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Indonesia. As for consumption, Switzerland tops the charts, with an average annual consumption of over 8.8 kilograms per capita.

Furthermore, chocolate is associated with indulgence and comfort. Many people turn to chocolate during times of stress or as a reward for a job well done. Its mood-boosting properties are attributed to various compounds, including phenylethylamine, which is believed to promote feelings of happiness and euphoria.

From a cultural perspective, chocolate holds significant symbolism. It's a staple in celebrations and rituals worldwide, from Valentine's Day to religious holidays like Easter. Additionally, chocolate has a rich history intertwined with ancient civilizations like the Maya and Aztecs, who revered cocoa as a divine gift.

As for trends in the world of chocolate, several exciting developments are worth noting. Consumers are increasingly interested in the bean-to-bar process, where chocolatiers oversee every step of production, from sourcing beans to crafting the final product.

There's also a growing demand for artisanal and craft chocolates made in small batches with high-quality ingredients. These chocolates often showcase unique flavor combinations (like spices, herbs, and exotic fruits) and innovative techniques. And, with a renewed focus on wellness in general, there's a rise in demand for healthier chocolate alternatives, such as sugar-free, dairy-free, and vegan options made with alternative sweeteners and plant-based milk.

Luckily for the sweet tooth in all of us, it's never been easier to access the world's best chocolates. All it takes is a few clicks and you're there. But, when purchasing chocolate online, there are several factors to consider to ensure you're getting the best quality and smoothest shopping experience:

  • Overall selection. The greater the variety of chocolates, the more likely you are to find something you just can't resist.
  • Cocoa content and bean origin. Higher cocoa content typically indicates better quality chocolate. Look for dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids for a richer flavor and health benefits. Also, pay attention to the origin of the cocoa beans. Single-origin chocolates offer unique flavor profiles, showcasing the terroir of the region where the beans were grown.
  • Fair trade and sustainability. Support brands that prioritize fair trade practices and sustainable sourcing. Look for certifications like Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, or UTZ to ensure ethical production.
  • Gift-giving options. With chocolate being one of the most popular ways to say, "I love you" or "Congratulations" , choosing a chocolate store that offers easy ways to send treats to your loved ones can make your life easier (and their life sweeter).
  • Reviews and reputation. Before making a purchase, read customer reviews and research the brand's reputation. Trusted chocolatiers often have a loyal following and positive feedback. The stores with the best reputation often have a solid satisfaction guarantee, offering a refund or exchange if something doesn't arrive in perfect condition.

Chocolate's enduring popularity is a testament to its irresistible taste, cultural significance, and mood-boosting properties. The experts at Top Consumer Reviews have meticulously evaluated and ranked some of today's most popular chocolate stores, to help guide you on your journey towards an exceptional chocolate experience. We hope you'll enjoy discovering new flavors and savoring traditional favorites!

Compare Chocolate Stores

Select any 2 Chocolate Stores to compare them head to head

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  • Z Chocolat
  • Gearharts Fine Chocolates
  • Ethel M
  • Simply Chocolate
  • Vosges Haut-Chocolat
  • Lindt
  • Ghirardelli
  • Astor Chocolate
  • Russell Stover
  • Godiva
Z Chocolat vs Gearharts Fine Chocolates Z Chocolat vs Ethel M Z Chocolat vs Simply Chocolate Z Chocolat vs Vosges Haut-Chocolat Z Chocolat vs Lindt Z Chocolat vs Ghirardelli Z Chocolat vs Astor Chocolate Z Chocolat vs Russell Stover Z Chocolat vs Godiva Gearharts Fine Chocolates vs Ethel M Gearharts Fine Chocolates vs Simply Chocolate Gearharts Fine Chocolates vs Vosges Haut-Chocolat Gearharts Fine Chocolates vs Lindt Gearharts Fine Chocolates vs Ghirardelli Gearharts Fine Chocolates vs Astor Chocolate Gearharts Fine Chocolates vs Russell Stover Gearharts Fine Chocolates vs Godiva Ethel M vs Simply Chocolate Ethel M vs Vosges Haut-Chocolat Ethel M vs Lindt Ethel M vs Ghirardelli Ethel M vs Astor Chocolate Ethel M vs Russell Stover Ethel M vs Godiva Simply Chocolate vs Vosges Haut-Chocolat Simply Chocolate vs Lindt Simply Chocolate vs Ghirardelli Simply Chocolate vs Astor Chocolate Simply Chocolate vs Russell Stover Simply Chocolate vs Godiva Vosges Haut-Chocolat vs Lindt Vosges Haut-Chocolat vs Ghirardelli Vosges Haut-Chocolat vs Astor Chocolate Vosges Haut-Chocolat vs Russell Stover Vosges Haut-Chocolat vs Godiva Lindt vs Ghirardelli Lindt vs Astor Chocolate Lindt vs Russell Stover Lindt vs Godiva Ghirardelli vs Astor Chocolate Ghirardelli vs Russell Stover Ghirardelli vs Godiva Astor Chocolate vs Russell Stover Astor Chocolate vs Godiva Russell Stover vs Godiva
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