Premium chocolate demands on the rise

- SUMAN BASHYAL, Kathmandu
Premium chocolate demands on the rise

Feb 18, 2015-

Demand for premium chocolates has risen significantly with Nepalis becoming more discerning in their tastes. Traders said that competition in this segment was also growing as many brands were entering the market. The Rajhans Group of India has forayed into the Nepali market by launching its premium chocolate brands Schmitten and Hoppits. It has appointed Bhaivab International as the authorised distributor.

Cadbury, Lindt, Nestle and Kitkat are some of the other premium chocolates sold in the country. What separates premium chocolates from the regular variety is the sourcing of raw materials like milk and cocoa and the production process which makes for the better quality. These chocolates cost more than Rs 100 in the domestic market.

“Chocolate consumption has been increasing in recent years, and more and more consumers are going for premium chocolates. So we have launched the brand in Nepal seeing the great potential,” said Saroj Poudel, national sales manager of the brand.

He added that they would market their products aggressively by issuing print advertisements and television and radio commercials to provide stiff competition to market leaders like Cadbury and Snickers, among others.

The company said it would be competitive in terms of price too and offer the chocolates at the same rate as in India. “Even after paying 30 percent import duty and 13 percent VAT, we will be selling the chocolates here at the same price as in India,” said Poudel.

Customers will be able to buy Schmitten slab chocolates at Rs 130 for a 70 gm pack, according to the company. It aims to capture 20 percent of the Nepali premium chocolate market this year.  

Meanwhile, the Vishal Group, which started distributing Lindt chocolates in the domestic market six months ago, said it had been seeing encouraging response from customers to the luxury chocolate.

“Two years ago, the market share of premium chocolates was 5-7 percent, but now it constitutes 15 percent of the overall confectionary market which is estimated to be worth Rs 10 billion,” said Arpit Agrawal, director of the company. “After seeing the potential, we brought the Swish premium chocolate here, and we hope that it will do well in the coming days too.”

Prices of Lindt chocolates start at Rs 340 for a 100 gm pack. The company also sells Mars and Galaxy luxury chocolates in the market.

“The tradition of gifting and increased purchasing power are some of the reasons for the growth of the premium chocolate market,” said Nikhil Khetan, managing director of Khetan Overseas, the authorised distributor of Cadbury UK. The company joined the business with a few products. Now it offers more than 40 varieties including Cadbury Dairy Milk, Fruit and Nut and Whole Nut, among others.

“Sales of dark chocolates have also risen these days as people have become more aware of the health benefits,” added Khetan. The price of Cadbury from the UK starts at Rs 120 for a 50 gm pack.

Published: 19-02-2015 08:00

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