Mondelēz International has upped the cocoa content and revamped the packaging of its Cadbury Bournville brand in India to appeal to the growing middle classes.
The company has increased the cocoa content from 44% to 50% and adopted new black packaging.
Siddhartha Mukherjee, director of the chocolate category and media at Cadbury India, said, "Since its launch in 2009, Cadbury Bournville has created the premium dark chocolate category in India.”
“The revamp of Cadbury Bournville is in line with our long term strategy of strengthening our premium portfolio in order to stay ahead of evolving consumer tastes."
The company said it was responding to the growing affluence of consumers in India.
The revamped Bournville will come in three flavors: Cranberry, Raisins and Nuts and Rich Cocoa.
Dark chocolate still a niche
Mintel Food and Drink Analyst, Ranjana Sundaresan, told ConfectioneryNews: “While Bournville is a popular brand with high recall in urban India, dark chocolate remains a very niche category with few brands in the country.”
“Most Indian consumers are not too fond of the bitterness, but more aspirational consumers are likely to find appeal in the new “premium” look as well as for the health benefit dark chocolate offers.”
However, she said that premium was one of the fastest growing chocolate segments in India
“Since 2010, premium brands have become immensely popular, like Ferrero Rocher, which is now the third largest player in the chocolate confectionery market, according to Mintel estimates. It has managed to go from insignificant sales in 2011 to 4.9% of the market share by value in 2012.”
She added that Bournville faced competition from Mondelēz’s own brands Celebrations, Silk, and Toblerone
“Nestlé launched its premium brand Alpino last year, and plans to bring more premium chocolate brands to the country,” she continued.
Cadbury dominant but faces rising competition
According to Euromonitor International, Cadbury dominated the Indian chocolate market in 2013 with a value share of 56%.
Other companies have sought to strengthen their position in the developing market in recent years.
Mars last year launched premium tablet chocolate brand Galaxy (also known as Dove) in the country at a reduced price point, while Hershey set up its own Indian subsidiary after ending a joint venture with Godrej Industries in 2012.
While the Indian dark chocolate market is growing exponentially, per capita chocolate consumption was still among the lowest in the world in 2012 at 70 g per head compared to 11.9 Kg in top chocolate-eating nation Switzerland, according to data from Leatherhead Food Research.