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Hoffman's Chocolates produces chocolates designed by Communication majors

Part of special topics class

candyIf you walk into Hoffman’s Chocolates on East Las Olas Boulevard, you’ll find a special treat called Sea Salt Caramel Mocha Bark, a blend of coffee, chocolate and salted caramel. This specific bark was produced during the Winter 2019 semester by B.A. in Communication students who participated in a special topics campaign class taught by Associate Professor of Communication Stephen Andon, Ph.D.

“Partnering with Hoffman’s Chocolates gave students the opportunity to learn directly from industry professionals, and their product and campaign is now in stores!” said Shanti Bruce, Ph.D., professor and assistant dean. “I thank Dr. Andon for his outstanding work designing and teaching this course. He is not only an expert in his field, but he is truly an innovative professor.”

Andon partnered with BBX Capital, the parent company of Hoffman’s Chocolates, to develop the special topics course offered to select Communication majors.

“The special topics course was a result of the publicity from our yearly Ice Cream Entrepreneur Program for high school students,” Andon said. “In the fall of 2018, Lois Marino, the director of Community Engagement for BBX Capital, reached out to me to talk about the program and together we worked on adapting the idea of a consumer product design model to fit our upper-class undergraduate students.”

The Sea Salt Caramel Mocha Bark sold “very well” during its original limited-bagged run and now holds a permanent spot at the bulk counter, Andon said.

During the eight-week course, students worked with chocolatiers to design and market bark flavors, which were pitched to a panel of judges at the conclusion of the course. As part of the course, students also had the opportunity to visit and tour the Hoffman’s Chocolates Factory in Greenacres, Florida.

“It's really something special to see the concepts you and your team came up with literally materialize into large-scale branding and chocolate,” said Aidan Rivas, a communication major who participated in the course. “Since you're given the resources to do so, you can be as creative as you want. I'd recommend the experience to anyone.”

The Sea Salt Caramel Mocha Bark is available for purchase at multiple Hoffman’s Chocolates locations and costs $12.95. Ten percent of all sales are donated to NSU.

To learn more about Sea Salt Caramel Mocha Bark, click here. To learn more about NSU’s B.A. in Communication program, click here.

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