Will Easter Bring Chocolate Frenzy to China?

6 Apr

Milk Chocolate Easter EggsFor Christians around the world, Easter is a time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.

For many people however it’s also a time to gather with family and friends and over indulge in a vast quantity of Chocolate.

Founder and director of British chocolatier “Lick the Spoon” Diana Short says Easter is their busiest time of year.

“Easter is absolutely crucial to our business obviously it’s the one time of year everybody buys a chocolate product and we cannot afford to miss out on a single sale Easter carries us through the rest of the year, without it we’d never get through to December.”

In China, Easter might not be a big deal but the chocolate market is booming. Chocolate sales in the country rose 30 percent in 2011 and the industry is now worth 7 billion yuan a year.

Lawrence Allen is the author of Chocolate Fortunes: The Battle for the Hearts, Minds, and Wallets of China’s Consumers. He says introducing chocolate to the Chinese market took some time.

“Chocolate has no tradition in the Chinese cuisine. The taste profile of chocolate is distinctly different than any Chinese cuisine that I know of. Therefore it really could not work its way into Chinese cuisine in any other way than through gifting. People were very willing to give chocolate but not necessarily consume it when it first began arriving in the 1980s.”

Allen says in China chocolate is viewed as an exotic foreign treat which has left the market dominated by major international companies. The most successful is Mars who owns the Dove brand.

Allen says one of the reasons Mars has enjoyed such overwhelming dominance is they stayed in the market long term despite not turning a profit in their first decade of operations.

He says however there is still room for all chocolate manufactures to grow in the Chinese market.

“One billion people have still never tasted chocolate here in China. So the way to grow the business in China is to grow with the evolution and development of the market; being in that first new store that opens up in a second or third tier city that has air-conditioning. Chocolate melts and if you can’t find a place to put your chocolate in front of consumers then you’re simply not going to have access to those consumers.”

The commercial aspect of Easter hasn’t yet gained momentum in China but with the new found love of chocolate it won’t be long.

Source: CRI English

Buy Chocolate, lollies and confectionery online at Moo-Lolly-Bar Australia

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