World's Finest expands its seasonal business

By Staff Writer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sales Chocolate Brand

World's Finest Chocolate has strengthened its position in the US
holiday retail market with the purchase of the Queen Anne brand
from Gray and Co.

The acquisition of the brand follows the company's entry into the holiday retail market in 2003.

The company's seasonal strategy is somewhat surprising considering the holiday segments poor performance in recent years.

However a spokesperson said that the acquisition of Queen Anne gives the company a foothold in the retail side of the seasonal chocolate market, one it didn't have before.

Seasonal sales of chocolate in 2005 reached $928 million in the US, a decline of eight per cent since 2002, according to figures from ACNielson.

Queen Anne is the leading brand of chocolate-covered cordial cherries and one of the top five boxed chocolate brands sold during the holiday season.

The brand has annual sales of $30 million.

Tyler Jeffrey, World's Finest Chocolate's vice president of sales and marketing, told that the acquisition fits well into the company's growth strategy.

"We have a corporate strategy to bring World's Finest into the seasonal market. It is the simplest time to get into retail outlets without paying and is the best time to sell the boxed chocolates that we specialise in,"​ he said.

As for further expansion Jeffrey said the company must first absorb Queen Anne's before looking for further acquisitions.

The chocolate covered cordials will still be sold under the Queen Anne brand name, with all production being moved to World's Finest Chocolate's facility in Chicago by 1 March 2006.

"The addition of the Queen Anne brand gives World's Finest Chocolate a strong position in the holiday retail market and the cordial manufacturing line can be easily added to our Chicago facility,"​ he said.

Jeffrey said the purchase will create 80 to 100 jobs. The deal includes a long-term cherry supply agreement with Gray and Co, guaranteeing a reliable low-cost source.

World's Finest Chocolate is a family-owned business based in Chicago with sales of $100 million a year. The company also has a manufacturing plant in Canada.

The company prides itself on being involved at every level of chocolate production, souring its own beans from its own plantation in the Caribbean.

Related topics Ingredients Seasonal

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