Franuí, the chocolate that has gone ‘viral’ on social networks, is not a new product. In Argentina, it has been known for many years, to be precise, since 2007, the year in which the Rapanui Chocolates decided to innovate without knowing that it would be creating its flagship export product.
A life dedicated to baking
Aldo Fenoglio, manager of Rapanui, tells us that the history of this chocolate and its more than 300 products does not go back to this century, but to the previous one. It all started in Turin, Italy, where his grandfather lived, who bore his same name, and is the one who started the tradition that he would inherit to the whole family. Grandfather Aldo, at that time 15 years old, decided to be a pastry chef and, supported by his family, he managed to study what he wanted. Upon completion, he started his own business, a confectionery in which he offered chocolates, ice creams and other desserts.
The war left Italy destroyed and with a view to a better future. Aldo and his wife crossed the Atlantic in 1947, arrived in Bariloche, a city in the Patagonia region, and there they would start over. The new confectionery would be called Tronador, to later be renamed Fenoglio. This place has always been characterized by its chocolates and its innovative products.
At the age of 20, Aldo’s father takes over the confectionery, after the death of his grandfather. This is how a new chapter of the family tradition would begin because in the year 96 Rapanui would be created. “To this day we are doing the same thing that our grandparents did, which is chocolate, ice cream and pastries”, says Aldo, who today runs the family business.
Reinvention is a characteristic of the Fenoglio family and this has allowed them to keep Rapanui afloat. For example, in 2011 a volcano affected the entire Bariloche area, the area where their only store was located, for which they made the decision to expand and today they have 20 branches in Argentina. In this same way, Franuí was born, the star product of the factory.
From Patagonia to the world: Franuí
Franuí is a fruit bathed in black and white chocolate. To preserve its properties it has to be kept frozen, which is why it falls perfect for summer. But how do you create this rather ‘addictive’ dessert? Rapanuí’s association with the raspberry is lifelong. “We always had an orchard and we planted raspberries, because Bariloche is an area where this fruit is produced and, in my opinion, the best in the world,” says Aldo.
When they had the main ingredient, they did not hesitate and bathed it with the family’s chocolate. “At the time (2007) it was a paradigm shift because no one had ever sold frozen chocolate until then and at first it was rare to market it,” says the manager. At first, only his clients from Bariloche enjoyed this product, they served it in cones and it was the novelty of the moment. Seeing this, they knew that Franuí had a different fate.
The years passed and in 2020, the Fenoglio family experienced a new situation again, this time the pandemic brought them an increase in sales that they did not expect, the need for sweets to get through the hardest times was real. This was the milestone that led them to think about leaving Argentina. “At the end of 2020 we faced the export project and in November 2021 we made the first export. And today we continue to grow, taking advantage of new markets and breaking paradigms”.
Franuí in Peru
Peru is the fifth market that Franuí has reached and the acceptance is quite good, especially now that summer is approaching and that they always seek to calm the heat with something frozen. As in other markets, the product is sold directly through Rappi and also at Vivanda. The price is 21.90 soles and both presentations are available: milk chocolate and dark chocolate.
Aldo Fenoglio tells us that new Rapanui products will arrive in Peru and other countries next year. The family with a chocolatier heart never stops innovating and promises to continue delighting palates around the world.
How to eat a Franuí?
Aldo shares an important fact with us. Although he knows the temptation to eat all the Franuí, he recommends thawing them 30 to 40 minutes before eating so that they are at the right temperature.
Ronald Payne is a journalist working for the 24 News Recorder. He specializes in writing opinion pieces and is well known for his insightful analysis and thought-provoking perspectives. With a passion for uncovering the truth and a commitment to informed commentary, Ronald is a valued voice.