Monday, 14 February 2011

DVP , branding - Milk chocolates and Milk Flowers for your valentine?

One of the oldest botanical gardens in London is the Chelsea Physic Garden ( CPG)founded in 1673 by the Society of Apothecaries. Chelsea Physic Garden was established to teach apothecaries about medicinal and other uses of plants..

The land on which the garden is situated came into the ownership of Sir Hans Sloane in 1712 and leased at a rent of £5 in perpetuity to the Apothecaries.

Sloane was a physician, botanist, philanthropist and relevant to this blog an entrepreneur. A statue of the great man is the centrepiece of the garden.

Sloane lived to the remarkable old age of 92.

He believed in

“ sobriety, temperance and moderation are the best preservatives nature had
vouchsafed to mankind”

Of his many achievements those who follow this blog might like to acknowledge his part in the history of selling.

As a result of travels to the Caribbean Sloane he introduced a “health promoting” recipe for drinking chocolate. By 1689, Sloane developed a milk chocolate drink as a result of his travels to the Caribbean and in particular Jamaica.

Well before what we might call the modern era of selling ,he had branded his product (milk chocolate drink) ‘licensed’ his formulation and sold it to be made exclusively by a ‘manufacturer and had his product distributed through outlets – the coffee houses of Georgian England.

He even expressed his distinctive value proposition (DVP) as can be seen by the poster. ( note the old use of ‘f’ for ‘s’ my spell checker has blown a fuse!)

Sir Hans Sloane’s

Milk Chocolate.

Made only by William White , succefsor to
Mr Nicholas Sanders, No 8 Greek Street, Soho, London.

Greatly recommended by feveral eminent physicians, efecially of those of
Sir Hans Sloane’s acquaintance.
For the Lightnefs on the Stomach, and its great Ufe in all Confumptive Cases

N.B. What is not figned by my name and fealed with my Arms is counterfeit.

In the 21st century we are also familiar with stories of medicinal benefits of chocolate .

Cocoa or dark chocolate may positively affect the circulatory system. Other possible effects include anticancer, brain stimulating activities.

Any aphrodisiac effect is as yet unproven despite what hopes today spring from giving one’s ‘valentine’ a box of chocolates! But hope springs eternal ! .. talking of which..

The first signs of the end of the deep part of winter has passed in London . Snowdrops have appeared.

Last weekend Chelsea Physic garden opened its gates for its Snowdrop Days

The botanical name Galanthus is from the Greek gala – milk and anthos – flower. The garden has a collection of over 100 varieties. The subtle differences can be determined by close inspection of markings, leaf shape and fullness of flower.

However you have to remember your “ leaf, scape, spathe. Pedicel, ovary, flower, outer tepal, inner tepal” all of which I had forgotten from school lessons in Biology. Fortunately CPG supplied visitors with an illustrated guide to their snowdrop trail highlighting 15 different varieties.

One of the most delightful stages of the trail was the snow drop theatre.

This exhibited a range of choice Galanthus cultivars bred and developed over the last 150 years. In late January 2011 a particularly desirable form sold on line for £350 for a single bulb!

As well as the pleasure snow drops give to galanthomaniacs some varieties have medicinal properties. Although galantamine is produced synthetically nowadays for drugs like Reminyl it is used in the treatment in Alzheimer’s



  1. I heard a story about a Queen in her death bed drank Chocolate and was surprisingly revitalized and cured. I think chocolate has this property to help your blood circulate well.


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