market trends in chocolate trading in south asia

Following the trends that lead to changes in demand for products and services is the base of market
research, and refers to detailed introduction to all of the factors that influence consumer behavior and their
decision to purchase. Chocolate marketers today are drawing inspiration from other segments of the food and
beverage industry in an effort to boost sales - witness chocolates that feature super fruits, functional ingredients,
savory touches and ethnic flavors. And chocolate product trends that worked in the past - single-source cocoa,
high cocoa content, for example - may not be effective techniques for driving sales in the future.
The chocolate market displayed its recession resiliency, as retail sales increased 3 percent from 2008 to reach a
record $17 billion in 2009, according to "Chocolate Market in the U.S.

: Trends and Opportunities in Premium,
Gourmet and Mass Chocolate Products" by publisher Packaged facts. Chocolate’s
recession-resilience may be due to its “lipstick factor.” Economists have noted that lipstick sales tend to rise
during economic recessions, as the relatively inexpensive purchase goes a long way to cheer women up. Eating
chocolate might have the same affect. When times get tough and household budgets turn frugal, spending a few
dollars on a good bar of chocolate becomes a terrific way to leverage a piece of indulgence. Global demand for
chocolate is expected to rise over the next several years, as the market capitalizes on chocolate's incredible
ability to "shapeshift" into an array of products suitable for the confectionery, beverage, restaurant, hospitality
and personal care industries. Current chocolate market trends are (O'Bornick, 2002):
 Despite the positive growth of the market of FMCG, market share of the companies is with a downward
trend, because of the maturity of the industry, driven by pricing competition and growth in the number
of competitors;
 Innovation of products, offering better value for the price, building and maintaining strong brand of
products are the keys which boost the growth in the industry, therefore the development of new
products will need to be supported by new technology, intense distribution, interactive and new
packages that will attract attention;
 It is expected shifting in the demand from larger to smaller individual packages of conventional
products, as a direct result of increased consumer awareness of the need for practical packaging that
allow a sense of control of the size of the individual serving as part of the daily diet - a result of greater
concern for the individual health care status;
 Within the European confectionery market, chocolate industry is the largest segment by value and
quantity, and the fastest growing market is one of the molded bar - chocolate.
Market analysisxiv shows that the demand for milk and bakery products and cereals is decreasing as a
result of the increased demand for soft drinks and confectionery products. Some of the main factors of change in
the near future are considered to be: ethical packaging (green packaging is a primary concern for the food and
drinks industry and using less packaging will become a key focus over the next five years which is especially
important for convenience products that rely heavily on packaging benefits such as multi-packs, compartment
packaging and portioning); health concerns (health is an increasingly important driver of convenient products, 

and marketing is becoming multi-faceted with the evolution of food and drink offering more advanced health
benefits such as weight control and other specific health concerns); emerging markets (growth in regions such as
Asia-Pacific and Latin America is acting to boost overall sales of dried, instant and wet ambient convenient
products, which have shown increasing signs of maturity in Western markets where demand has tended to move
into fresher convenient products). Convenience continues to be a key trend in food and drinks, with consumers
increasingly looking for products that suit their lifestyle requirements. The extent of the development of
convenient products is signaled by the notion that consumers are coming to view various convenience benefits as
the norm. Adding value in terms of convenience is increasingly linked to providing further benefits, combining
saving time and effort with additional aspects of food and drink marketing. These include providing health,
freshness, taste, versatility and ethical benefits, and marketing products that suit particular consumer needs such
as on-the-go convenience and products for children. The demand for premium chocolate, gourmet boxed
chocolates, dark chocolates, organic and functional chocolates (focusing on adult issues of health concerns and
the environment) that fulfill the comfort factor and concerns of the graying population will persist as a leading
growth trend, especially when the economy recovers. The healthy chocolate trend, featuring "better-for-you"
ingredients such as lavender and blueberry, is likewise expected to fuel the market as a subset of the product
premium trendxv
. Since teens between the ages of 15-19 consume more candy than any other age group, targeting
the teenage market has challenged chocolate marketers to produce more products and reposition classic itemsxvi
Companies that fail to innovate, look ahead or anticipate customers' needs will not be successful in the current,
competitive and highly saturated chocolate marketplace. (Curtis Vreeland, 2010) identified more active trends in
the premium chocolate market:
 Craft chocolate making: This segment has several names: craft, bean-to-bar or micro-batch chocolate.
In a sense, this trend follows precedents established elsewhere in the gourmet food world, where craft
beers and specialty coffees helped jolt a commoditized product into another dimension of exciting
 Savory-inspired flavors: Savory flavors, a cross-over from the culinary scene, started appearing in
chocolate several years ago. Now, chocolatiers are experimenting with adding such kitchen cabinet
ingredients as olive oil, bacon, cheese, curry and chipotle into their bonbons and truffles;
 Exotic flavors: Premium chocolatiers are setting off on culinary adventures, discovering new layers of
flavor and textures. Some are experimenting with umami flavors; others are developing products to
match consumers’ moods.
Macedonia can and should be competitive in the production of chocolate, but it isn’t. The current
situation of the domestic producers of chocolate is unenviable, thus the work of the two largest domestic
producersxvii is characterized with the following: the companies act as market followers - imitators, without a
clear marketing strategy, are operating on intuition and experience, with commercial, rather than market
orientation. They don’t have clearly defined mission and goals of future development.

 They have no marketing
department, and in terms of marketing mix - no innovation in the range of chocolate products. Their products are
positioned as cheap products, with medium quality, with unoriginal packaging, and are not available everywhere.
The prices of chocolate products are low, and designed by the method of “costs plus”, with the concept of gross
margin. Promotional activities are minimal and consist of occasionally providing better positions on shelves in
retail stores and reporting about opening of new stores, while other types of promotion are not or are minimally
used. The distribution is very selective - only in the largest supermarkets, making the products insufficiently
available for the end users. The managers believe that the most important thing is to be able to offer cheap
products and not the marketing activities as such, which makes it obvious that they don’t understand the
marketing concept.

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