Hotel Chocolat chief Angus Thirlwell said he is “pleased with the strong response” to its chocolate bonds, which raised £3.7m.

The chocolate bond was available to its Chocolate Tasting Club members and the return is paid in chocolate. Thirlwell said: “There was no template for this kind of fundraising so we set a minimum of £500,000 and a maximum of £5m. We’re very pleased with the result.”

The funds will be used to expand Hotel Chocolat’s factory in Cambridgeshire, open new stores, set up an eco factory at its cocoa plantation in the Rabot Estate in St Lucia, and expand overseas.

Thirlwell said that he remained confident even in the present tough economic climate, since “customers can enjoy premium chocolate for a modest outlay”.