Alex Dang

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Hand-crafted by Vietnamese specialists, ‘socoa’ is a unique specialty chocolate brand that combines local featured flavors with high-quality modern production. Curated from well-known provinces (Ben Tre, Vung Tau & Dak Lak), our cacao delivers exceptional natural essences from Southern and Middle Vietnam to maximize the premium tasting experience. With the wide range of flavors and blends, named after regions of our homeland, our key products offer a new understanding of Vietnamese specialty chocolate.

Instead of re-discovering the familiar cocoa tree (a typical approach to chocolate packaging), I determined to exhibit a newer viewpoint about these sweet and bitten pods. The research shows that Vietnamese farmers usually intercrop the organic cacao with various trees such as coconut, bananas, cashews, coffees… Under the shades of other trees, cacao absorbs the nutritions, essences, and “spirits” from neighbor plants, differentiates their cocoa flavors. These intercropping trees also reflect local natural characteristics and contribute to the final chocolate flavors. Once aware of these trees’ significant roles in cacao habitat and its development, the key concept about “intercropping shades” arrives.

From ‘socoa’ main resources, we picked out the list of representatives of local cacao trees: Ben Tre’s coconut, Ba Ria’s bananas, Dak Lak’s coffee. Consequently, the moving shades of these characters establish the finished product’s presence in vibrant colors.

Starting with the idea of clarifying each location’s uniqueness, I examined the level of latitude to define the order of three provinces (from North to South): Dak Lak – Ba Ria – Ben Tre. The centered alignment of stacked text boxes originated from the latitude lines, to deliver the story of every cacao profile. When gathering three chocolate bars in one box, the final container is re-shaped with a physical “latitude ladder” to experiment with a new responsive look and recall the elevation of these geographic locations.

Let’s take a bite and give us your favorite rankings of these three specialty chocolate flavors.