Whether you like it dark and bitter, or sweet and sweet, it’s worth taking a bite out of one of life’s greatest indulgences: chocolate. July 7 is dedicated to World Chocolate Day as it was introduced to Europe on this date in 1550 from South America. Chocolate lovers everywhere have the perfect excuse to enjoy sweet treats on this day.
Greek chocolate brands have made a bold statement in the industry competing with some of the best in the world including Belgium, Switzerland and the UK. We’ve rounded up our top picks for a sweet trip like no other.
ION has been synonymous with chocolate for over 90 years, having its beginnings in Athens. Neo Faliro, Piraeus is where the magic began to unfold, opening the door to a sweet story backed by hard work and aspiration. “To this day, the company maintains its headquarters in the same location where it all began in 1930.
1947 was a landmark year for the brand and for all ION enthusiasts around the world with the introduction of ION Amigdalou (Almond). Its silky texture fused with large chunks of almond has become the ideal combination, making it the brand’s most popular product worldwide. In 1956, the first ION store opened in downtown Athens, slowly gaining notoriety through word of mouth. Gradually, the company began to introduce new chocolates, candies, gummies, wafers and many other delicacies.
1998 marked ION’s entry into the global market as the company expanded overseas, becoming a manufacturer of international status.
Today, ION continues to grow and develop as a 100% Greek company, without losing the traditional values that define it. With three state-of-the-art production plants in Greece, 950 employees and a turnover of more than 110 million euros on an annual basis, ION is among the 60 largest industrial companies in Greece.
Lacta is a series of Greek chocolate products created in 1962 by the confectioner Pavlidis, founded in 1841 in Athens. In 1991, the Pavlidis company was sold to Kraft Foods Inc., which was later renamed Mondelez International.
Besides the traditional milk chocolate bar, there are several different shapes and flavors of Lacta, including Oreo, hazelnut, and strawberry yogurt. Lacta remains among the best-selling chocolate bars in Greece.
Today, Lacta lovers associate the brand with the famous TV spot that compared the sweet taste of chocolate to falling in love. The 5-episode web series attracted 2 million viewers in a country of 5 million internet users. Lacta’s YouTube channel has become number 1 in Greece, with the most views and the most subscribers in the country.
Its magical taste, however, affected and increased chocolate sales, increasing them by 14% over the previous year.
A real chocolate revolution started once Leonidas was introduced to the market. From Greece to Belgium, via the United States, the common thread of the company has always been passion, perseverance and ingenuity.
More than 100 years ago, Leonidas Kestekides started working on the Leonidas praline as we know it today. For four generations, the Kestekides family has left its mark on Leonidas, making the brand a true family business. What started as a one-stop shop where pralines were displayed on the windowsill has grown into an international brand with over 1300 stores worldwide.
An award-winning classic dark chocolate from Greece, known as Ygeias, meaning wholesome, has been a popular treat for over 160 years, produced by the Pavlides company. In 1842, on the streets of Athens, the first pastry shop in Greece was opened, the famous Pavlidou confectionery by Spyridon Pavlides. The store offered traditional sweets, such as kataifi, baklava, delicacies of various flavors, sweets and so-called confetti – because cocoa was not yet popular in Greece.
In 1843, Pavlides wanted to develop pastry and enrich it with new products. He began to travel in Europe and beyond, visiting Paris, Vienna, Rome, Amsterdam and Madrid. Participating in multiple exhibitions on new products and innovative machinery, he slowly entered the world of chocolate and, on his return to Greece in 1852, he founded the confectionery workshop. He cut the cocoa with the coffee grinder he had imported from Poland and started serving chocolate to the pastry shop. In 1860, at Christmas, he went to Paris again. From there he brought an artisan chocolatier, with whom he made the first bar of “healthy chocolate”, naming it what we know today as “Pavlidou Ygeias” chocolate.
A Cypriot brand, Choco King has become a market leader in Cyprus by producing the finest and most premium chocolate. Beginning production in 1990, the family business has grown in popularity over the years, becoming a top choice for consumers.
Choco King’s product range varies from small filled chocolates, chocolate candies, chocolate treats for special occasions, chocolate spreads, luxury gift boxes, desserts and all types of cakes, as well as of 3D.
The superior quality of its raw materials, the education and knowledge that underlies the production, and the quality system used guarantee high quality for all Choco King products.