New Product Line The most drastic change that Cowgirl Chocolates has made since 2001 is not necessarily in its products, but in the way the products are packaged. Instead of the traditional way of only being wrapped in foil, the assorted and half-pound tins now have the Cowgirl label printed right on the tin (www.cowgirlchocolates.com). Also, the truffle bars are no longer only sold individually. They are now also sold in a bundle, where if you purchase ten truffle bars, you receive two bars free. In addition, Cowgirl Chocolates now offers a 1950's theme Cowgirl Purse, filled with spicy and mild-mannered Cowgirl Chocolates. Other gift items include a gift basket, that not only contains chocolates but a Cowgirl T-shirt as well, and a gift bucket, filled with a variety of Cowgirl Chocolates (www.cowgirlchocolates.com). Cowgirl Chocolates has always been known for its “nothing fancy” packaging, in which the chocolates come in a plastic bag with the Cowgirl logo printed on it. They now offer “something fancy” packaging where the product is custom gift wrapped with a gift card included. The custom gift wrap consists of the chocolates being placed in a gold box with a red ribbon tied around it (www.cowgirlchocolates.com). As for the product itself, the company started off selling only five different flavors of truffles, including plain chocolate, mint, orange, lime tequila, and espresso. In 2004 Cowgirl Chocolates added two new flavors to its spicy line, raspberry and peanut butter (www.cowgirlchocolates.com). Soon after, Cowgirl Chocolates introduced their mild- mannered line of chocolates, for those chocolate lovers who are not so fond of the spicy taste, but who still enjoy gourmet chocolates (Geiger). Recommendations Cowgirl Chocolates will need to find new ways to reach their target market. Advertising in spicy food magazines should continue because the magazine is already targeting spicy food lovers. Cowgirl Chocolates could also try to reach its market by offering chocolates in spicy food restaurants, where chefs could use the chocolates in recipes. In addition, we feel that Cowgirl Chocolates should try to get their chocolates into specialty shops, such as spicy food stores candy shops. This would boost sales for Cowgirl Chocolates by offering their chocolates where spicy food lovers and chocolate lovers would already be shopping. Another idea is to be more effective in product promotion by offering free product samples, coupon savings or even gift cards. Free samples would allow people to try the product and increase their desire to buy more. Another distribution channel for Cowgirl Chocolates to consider is television. The chocolates are currently promoted on Food Network; however, we feel that additional promotion from networks such as QVC and HSN would be very beneficial for the company. Website Recommendations Significant improvements can be made to the online aspects of Cowgirl Chocolates in order to attract more business. The company’s website includes only the basic elements of what customers may wish to find when searching for Cowgirl Chocolates. The website, www.cowgirlchocolates.com, consists of descriptions of the products, prices, gifts and gear. Cowgirl Chocolates also offers a flavor guide to help consumers in their product selection. Some improvements we decided on that would help make its website more effective are as follows. More information about the company should be easily accessible online, so customers can learn about the company before they buy the products. Marilyn should also post any accomplishments and awards on her company’s website. The website has a greater chance of increased visitors if there is more information available that will attract consumer interests. Another strategy for Cowgirl Chocolates to increase business is to begin printing the website address on their packages and gift tins. This would draw additional customers to the website to get more information about the company and the variety of products and flavors it offers. Also, Marilyn could post a few recipes online for customers to view and print, or even have a mailing list where they can receive recipes and other information via email.