The Washington Post has an article on the marketing of luxury chocolates.. On one hand, I'm happy with this trend since it leads to a lot of good chocolate being easily available. One the other hand, most of the luxury chocolates are over-priced and over-hyped, and taste excessively sweet. There are some that I do love, ridiculous price and all -- Vosges' chocolate bars come to mind. They are a wonderful balance of some very sense-ational flavors. However, some of the others, including Dove and Godiva, I find to be not so special seeing as they tend to emphasize sweetness over the taste of cocoa. It's the inherent weakness in mass marketing to the bourgeoise -- you tend to have to compromise down to the level of the Lowest Common Denominator (and no, mass marketing luxury chocolates is not a contradiction, just capitalism in action). In America, with chocolate, that means more sugar and less cocoa.
Even worse, IMO, than the perpetuation of the shoddy, sugary sweet version of chocolate is the fact that none of these luxury chocolate makers feel the need to use organic, sustainable or Fair Trade certified cocoa. If you are going to go for the bourgeois market and charge accordingly, at least put some of that money into ensuring that you are offering a product to your customers that everyone can feel good about!
Leaving aside such social and moral considerations, I would also be interested in knowing what cocoa varietals the luxury chocolates are being made from. I wonder if the vendors are going to the trouble and expense of using Criollo varietals or whether the luxury chocolates are being made from the same varietals as their poorer cousins.