Styling and Photography by Laurie Mosco
We all joke that since chocolate is made from plants, it’s salad which = not indulgent, but did you know that for a long time chocolate was touted and as medicine? While we don’t recommend tearing through your medicine chest and switching out everything for chocolate bars, little bits of trivia like this could be the remedy to attracting new customers during the slower months post holidays.
Everyone loves feeling like they’re “in the know,” having knowledge about something their friends and family do not. That’s why trivia nights and trivia apps are so popular! Knowing fun, obscure facts about chocolate not only positions your business the fun place to be, but you and your staff as knowledgeable in the products you sell. As part of your marketing activities, consider posing a weekly trivia question that visitors can answer in store, or via email in hopes of winning a discount on a product or, a free sample of a product you’re trying to promote. OR for something simpler, incorporate your trivia facts onto signage and shelf talkers in your business as a conversation starter.
Love the idea of incorporating trivia into your merchandising plan, but don’t have the time to spend trolling Google? Don’t worry! Here’s 9 facts about chocolate’s early medical beginnings to get your started .*
- Renaissance Doctors Saved Chocolate: We might not be enjoying chocolate bars today if it wasn’t for doctors. When chocolate was first brought to Europe, religious leaders were fearful of chocolate’s exhilarating effects. It was only after doctors mentioned it’s medical benefits that they made it acceptable to enjoy. (Nutrients)
- Hearts Heart Chocolate: We all love chocolate, but did you know that ancient medicine thought it was good for the heart? Ancient Aztecs used chocolate as a treatment for chest pain. Chocolate mixtures were also was sold during the 1800’s in Florence as a heart remedy (Nutrients)
- Chocolate Really Makes the Medicine Go Down: Looks like Mary Poppins was wrong, it’s not sugar, but chocolate that makes the medicine go down. Aztec and European doctors added chocolate to mask the taste of bad tasting medicines. (Smithsonian)
- The OG Energy Drink: We can’t 100% confirm, but chocolate might have been the first energy drink. A chocolate drink, made of cocoa seeds, chilies, anise, vanilla, ground roses, cinnamon, almonds, and other flowers was given to patients in 17th century England to restore energy (Nutrients).
- Chocolate – The Food of Love: Forget oysters — Ancient Aztecs used chocolate to get them in the mood for love. (Nutrients)
- I have a Fever – the Cure – More Chocolate!: The royal physician to king Philip II of Spain prescribed chocolate for reducing fevers. (HowStuffWorks)
- I take my Chocolate Topically: In the 1500’s, doctors made a paste of cacao beans, cocoa butter, bark, and leaves to treat burns and cuts. Wonder if they got to eat the leftovers….(HowStuffWorks).
- Forget Lozenges – Take Some Chocolate for that Cough: Aztecs were observed using chocolate in their cough treatments. (Smithsonian)
- Chocolate Carries Some Weight: In the 1700’s chocolate was prescribed to sick patients to gain weight – most specifically if they had smallpox. (Smithsonian)
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*Note: the information provided here is for entertainment purposes only.