Thomas Meier, managing director of Lindt in Asia-Pacific told ConfectioneryNews.com that the Singaporean chocolate market was already well developed.
“The market continues to see an up trading trend with premium chocolate brands gaining popularity.”
“Despite it’s compact size, the Singaporean market is an excellent opportunity as consumers are confidently demanding more premium chocolate products.”
He said that Lindt was “perfectly positioned to cater for the Sinagporean consumer’s craving for more chocolate products”.
The Singapore operation
Lindt already has a presence in Singapore with seasonal gifting items and everyday products in grocery retailers across the country, but the expansion deal with DKSH should help it capitalize on the growing premium trend.
Lindt manages its Singaporean operation from Hong Kong. The firm also opened an office in Shanghai last year.
The company has no production capacity in Asia and products and manufacturers at eight plants in Europe and the US. Products for Singapore are manufactured mainly in Switzerland.
Asked if Lindt would soon need to build a plant in Asia, Meier said that the firm had invested heavily in existing capacity enough to satisfy Asian demand.
DKSH will provide marketing, sales, merchandising, distribution, logistics, and back office support Lindt in the Singaporean market.
The firm has market expansion partnerships with other confectioners. In Burma, it has a deal with Chupa Chups maker Perfetti Van Melle and holds a partnership with Hershey in Malaysia.
The organization started working with Lindt in Hong Kong over five decades ago and also helped it expand in China and New Zealand.
Rising Asian middle class seek premium goods
Dr. Joerg Wolle, President & CEO, DKSH Group, said “While mature markets like the US or Europe are still facing challenges, companies continue to turn to Asia for growth opportunities.
“Coupled with the rising Asian middle classes, end consumers are becoming wealthier, have more disposable income and are becoming more discerning in their choice of food. They are today willing to pay for higher-quality and more variety.”