Angus Thirlwell: ‘Forget the caterpillars – retail needs collaboration, not conflict’

Angus Thirlwell-people-propsect

Three years ago, I was spitting chocolate feathers. Customers on social media began alerting me to a suspiciously similar range of chocolate slabs that had appeared in Waitrose. 

“Have they been made by Hotel Chocolat?” was the most common question. 

While touched by our customers watching our back, I became increasingly anxious about the confusion this was causing and the damage to our brand when that perception led to disappointment after the first bite.

‘Slabgate’ blew up very quickly once journalists spotted the social exchanges. Hotel Chocolat offered a ‘slab amnesty’, allowing disappointed buyers of the imposter slab to swap it free of charge for the real thing by popping into one of our stores. 


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