This Valentine's Day, say it with *checks notes*… broccoli?

This Valentine's Day, say it with *checks notes*… broccoli?

The unusual romantic gift, named Tender-Choc, is designed to encourage customers to show their ‘partners, loved ones, or even crushes, how tender they make you feel’.

The gifts, created by creative agency Frank withTenderstem and premium chocolatier Chococo, have been available since 8th February, with lovers invited to use the confectionary as an amorous gesture to facilitate ‘swooning this Valentine’s Day’.

The word ‘tender’ seems important here then, as Tenderstem pins its hopes on cupid-struck sweethearts subconsciously forming a romantic psychological connection between said property of broccoli, and the adjective ‘tender’: as it refers to being gentle or kind. Sounds like a plan to us. Tenderstem, the company’s press release continues, has ‘dared’ to marry its flavours with premium British chocolatier, Chococo, for this limited-edition, divisive gift.

Still intrigued? 

Tenderstem goes on to detail the ingredients of Tender-Choc: “Each box of Tender-Choc contains nine handcrafted 72% Ecuador origin dark chocolates, filled with an aptly green ganache made of real Tenderstem blended with fresh Dorset cream, and the addition of almond notes for a delectable but undoubtedly unique taste.”

The crazy thing? It seems to be working…

The exciting vegetable-flavoured treat was unveiled to the world after a photo was posted on the @NewFoodsUK Instagram account, which now has over 319,000 followers. And it seems fans were embracing the new creation. The post attracted over 500 likes in just 12 hours, with fans flocking to the comment section to share their thoughts on the unusual treat.

(A cynic might say the controversy surrounding Tenderstem’s Valentine’s Day offering was all part of the plan. But let us continue.)

Follower @HannahLily vowed to try it straight away, declaring: “Definitely want to try the Tenderchoc” and @IssiWard said “this was made for me”. Another, @ZackGreen1705 added: “The Mrs will love this one”.

Others were left baffled by the Tender-choc. @RhiRichardson said: “Bit early for April Fools…”

@TheSearchOfHappiness, meanwhile, is clearly not a fan, posting: “I love broccoli. I love chocolate. But this is a clear no no no”

Our take

Maybe I’ve been writing about this cocoa curiosity for too long now, but I’ve gradually come around to idea, to the point where I’m secretly hoping the wife gets me this on the 14th. I, however, will eat pretty much anything, so don’t let me coax you away from your healthy scepticism.

In all seriousness – and we’re nothing if not serious at Creative Moment – this is an impressive bit of creative marketing by the cunning folks at Tenderstem. In today’s social media age, this is the sort of divisive, but fun fodder that makes a welcome break from fraught debates over the US President’s mental capacity, or who is or is not ‘being too much of a snowflake’ about a given topic.

It follows in a fine tradition of self-aware campaigns such as Dr Pepper’s ‘What’s the Worst That Can Happen’, or Marmite’s entire marketing oeuvre and of course, it follows another unique collaboration from Frank, Weetabix and beans.

Lesser creatives will be green with envy.

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