Cheryl Hunter (shelflife at’s weekly pick of all things new — product, packaging, design, insight, food, décor and more!

  • De Villiers Chocolate gets shelf space in UK, US, Australia
  • Monopoly cheaters exposed with Cheatbot
  • Tiso Blackstar Group launches Times Select

Taste of Africa

De Villiers Chocolate, one of Africa’s first bean-to-bar chocolate brands, is now exporting to three major global food retailers: Marks & Spencer in the UK, Cost Plus World Market in the US and David Jones in Australia.

De Villiers Chocolate African Collection now available internationallyIt is De Villiers Chocolate’s first venture into international markets, and a definite highlight for the brand, says owner and chocolate maker, Pieter de Villiers. “Africa produces 70% of the global cocoa bean crops but produces less than 3% of the world’s chocolate — largely due to artisanal chocolate makers being unable to compete with mass producers who export the continent’s beans in bulk. I think this is an important step in showing consumers in other countries that there is more to the world’s chocolate than Belgian or Swiss chocolate. As a proud African, I am very happy to offer a taste of Africa to the world.”

De Villiers Chocolate’s global expansion is complemented by an increased national footprint in South Africa. The chocolate is sold under its own-label in Woolworths stores nationally, and it also plans to roll out 12 interactive in-store ‘chocolate pods’ or standalone booths in a number of Woolworths stores countrywide, following a hugely successful launch in one of the retailer’s flagship stores last year. This is in addition to its standalone stores in the Cape Winelands at Spice Route in Paarl and Franschhoek.

Australians may now also access the chocolate as it is stocked by David Jones, an affiliate company of Woolworths Holdings, the exclusive national retailer of De Villiers Chocolate. The chocolate range is also listed in Cost Plus World Market’s catalogue — a fine food retailer in the US, with close to 300 markets across North America.



Chastising cheaters

Hasbro has introduced the first-ever Monopoly “CheatBot”, Inviting its more than 1bn players in 114 countries across the globe to report rulebreakers via Facebook Messenger.

Monopoly CheatBotAccording to Hasbro, in a recent study of approximately 2 000 people, nearly 50% of respondents reported some form of cheating during Monopoly gameplay, including stealing money from the bank, moving a token across multiple spaces, making up fake rules, and more.

The Monopoly CheatBot will help settle game disputes and crack down on rule-breaking with the help of Mr Monopoly himself, who will dole out personalised consequences in real-time, such as going directly to Monopoly jail or paying a US$200 fine in Monopoly Money.

Fans may visit to report their friends and family to Mr Monopoly or join the conversation using #MonopolyCheater.



New times

This month see the launch of Times Select, which has replaced the former print edition of The Times.

Times SelectTimes Select features national, business, lifestyle, sport and world news, curated by an editorial team to provide readers with a 20-minute daily must-read.

Comments Andrew Trench, group digital editor at Tiso Blackstar Group Times Select, “We will continue to bring the feisty spirit and unique voice of The Times to the new Times Select platform, where our readers will benefit from the award-winning journalism synonymous with Tiso Blackstar’s titles.”

Content from columnists and writers from the former print edition will be available exclusively: Justice Malala, Ranjeni Munusamy, Tom Eaton, Jonathan Jansen, Darrel Bristow-Bovey, Tony Leon, Wendy Knowler, Andile Ndlovu and others.

Until April this year, readers will be able to access Times Select at no cost on desktop and mobile devices simply by registering at Thereafter, it will become a subscription-only product, with daily and monthly rates to be announced soon.


Cheryl HunterShelf Life is’s weekly column covering all things new. Notify us of yours at shelflife at marklives dot com. Want to sponsor Shelf Life? Contact us here.

Cheryl Hunter (@cherylhunter) has written for the South African media, marketing and advertising industries for more than 15 years. A former editor of M&M in Independent Newspapers and contributor to Bizcommunity, AdFocus, AdReview and the Ad Annual, she has also produced for various television networks and currently consults on communication strategy and media liaison.

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