Ghirardelli is ushering in the official return of Peppermint Bark season. Historic Confectioner and Peppermint Bark purveyor Ghirardelli has brought back its traditional holiday lineup of Peppermint Bark delights and even announced two new products: a Peppermint Bark Squares Gift box and Peppermint Bark Baking Mix Ins, which can be substituted for traditional chocolate chips in any baking recipe.
Candy Industry Senior Editor Liz Parker recently was able to talk to Ghirardelli’s VP of Marketing Bobby Oliver to discuss the history of the holiday treat and its rapid increase in popularity in recent years.
Liz Parker: How was Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark created and how has the product evolved over the years?
Bobby Oliver: Our first Peppermint Bark product, Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Squares, launched in 2004. From the outset we sought to raise the bar for Peppermint Bark. Like with all our other products, quality is paramount. Since then, the treat has become synonymous with the holiday season for many; we’ve amassed quite a fanbase. Ghirardelli has even become the U.S. Peppermint Bark market leader in terms of sales. Today, we offer Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark in a variety of formats—from the traditional Squares to Peppermint Bark Snowmen, to our newest products offered this year for the first time, Peppermint Bark Baking Mix Ins and our Peppermint Bark Squares Gift, which is a great gift for any Peppermint Bark enthusiast.
LP: Can you comment on how the lineup of formats fits every occasion?
BO: The Squares themselves are highly versatile, which I believe is part of the reason they are so loved. A bag of Peppermint Bark Squares is always a welcome hostess gift during the holidays. And having Squares on hand to share with friends and family is another way we know people like to enjoy our Peppermint Bark—they're nice to eat as a simple dessert with coffee or tea after a meal, or even as a midday treat. Our new Peppermint Bark Squares Gift, which is shaped like a giant individual Peppermint Bark Square yet holds approximately 19 of our traditional sized Squares within, is an eye-catching yet kind of cheeky gift to put beneath your tree or bring to a holiday party. Our other new launch is the Peppermint Bark Baking Mix Ins, which are great for making Peppermint Bark cookies or other baking creations. We have a great cookie recipe that calls for Peppermint Bark on our website at ghirardelli.com/recipes.
LP: In what ways do consumers share, gift, and bake with Peppermint Bark during the holiday?
BO: Consumers get more and more creative every year with how they incorporate our Peppermint Bark into their holiday season. In addition to traditional gifting, we’re noticing an uptick in recipes, especially on TikTok. As I mentioned above, we have our own Peppermint Bark recipes that consumers can experiment with at ghirardelli.com/recipes. Also, I’d recommend building the ultimate Peppermint Bark dessert board for your next holiday event—we find that always brings a smile to guests’ faces and looks beautiful in photos! It’s also a delicious, easy dessert option for any holiday meal.
LP: Can you talk about the history of Ghirardelli, established in 1852?
BO: Ghirardelli Chocolate Company has been a visionary in the confectionary industry since 1852 when the company opened its first confectionary shop in San Francisco. Today Ghirardelli is celebrated as the longest continually operating chocolatier in America and has delighted consumers with new chocolate experiences for nearly two centuries, ranging from confections, baking and food service products. Ghirardelli is considered part of the historic fabric of San Francisco, where our flagship stores at Ghirardelli Square remain tourist attractions for people from around the world.
LP: What’s new for the brand in 2024?
BO: 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of Peppermint Bark so the brand has some exciting surprises in store for celebrating this monumental birthday for everyone’s favorite holiday treat.