UK chocolate fountain demand doubled in past year
weddings and, as the craze spreads to other events, confectioners
could be set to benefit, writes Lorraine Heller.
The Original Chocolate Fountain, which claims to be the largest fountain operator in the UK and Europe, said the demand for the product has increased by over 60 per cent in the past year alone, both in sales and rentals.
There are still only a limited number of specialized players operating within this highly niche market, though there certainly appears to be room for expansion, as demand is fast growing in the wake of an increased awareness of the availability of the still novel product.
Weddings are currently one of the main areas of demand for the fountains, which now appear at one in five wedding functions, according to estimates by The Chocolate Fondue Company, which has seen its sales doubling over the last year.
"We have sold 12 fountains in the past eight weeks alone. Although the greatest increase in demand has come from wedding organisers, there has also been a mounting interest to have chocolate fountains at other important events, such as bar mitzvahs and christenings," the company told ConfectioneryNews.com.
Corporate events are also an area of great demand, with firms opting to include chocolate fountains at their stalls as an enticing mechanism.
The product first appeared in the UK market in 2003, and has since picked up speed, with a steadily increasing number of companies operating in the sector.
With sales of mainstream chocolate being generally sluggish since 2004, according to Datamonitor, the market could be given a boost by this trendy social draw.
The success of the recently premiered Charlie and the Chocolate Factory film will give chocolate fountains further publicity, as awareness spreads.
The Original Chocolate Fountain, which supplied a machine for the film's early scene of inspiration for young Willy Wonka, was also present at the film's post premier party, where it claimed guests made a beeline for the fountains.
"People were simply not aware of chocolate fountains before. Now, the more they see them, the more they want them," said the company.