Forteza Caribbean Chocolate expands with new Big Bars line
Forteza Caribbean Chocolate, a line of fine chocolates from a Puerto Rican family business established in 1929, has invested more than $20,000 in machinery to produce cocoa for a new line, Forteza Big Bars.
In 2017, Forteza purchased 1,000 pounds of cocoa to produce its chocolate. Due to high increased demand, in 2022, it purchased 7,800 pounds of cocoa, representing a 680% growth in the purchase of local cocoa.
“We have been making proposals with the Tropical Agriculture Research Station in Mayagüez and the government for years. In 2014, we obtained a federal agriculture proposal to produce 10,000 cocoa trees. Meanwhile, when Hurricane Maria occurred in 2017, we achieved another proposal, to produce around 12,000 cocoa trees managed by several farmers,” said Eduardo Cortés, founder of Forteza Caribbean Chocolate.
Since launching the Big Bars line in November, their sales have increased by 10%. This line includes four flavors, three of which are made with 100% Puerto Rican cocoa.
The products in this line are 50% Milk Chocolate with Puerto Rican Cocoa, 70% Dark Chocolate with Puerto Rican Cocoa, 100% Dark Chocolate with Puerto Rican Cocoa, and 50% Mocha Dark Chocolate with Dominican Republic Cocoa.
“This product is much more commercial than our lines have been in the past. The Big Bars have a more affordable price and are available throughout the island. The distribution of these products has expanded from four municipalities to 12,” said Alberto Hernández, project leader of Forteza Caribbean Chocolate.
Forteza Big Bars can be found in Selectos, Supermax and Freshmart supermarkets and other establishments such as Cosechao, El Buen Café, Librería Casa Norberto, Puerto Rico Drug Pharmacy, Mundo Taíno, and Utopía Café.