Fairytale Denmark: Michelsen signs book deal to support China push

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

The Fairytale Company Of Denmark aims to share Danish culture in China with chocolate-containing H.C Anderson book
The Fairytale Company Of Denmark aims to share Danish culture in China with chocolate-containing H.C Anderson book

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Danish premium chocolatier Michelsen hopes to break into China after teaming with a start-up company that produces hollow Hans Christian Andersen books containing chocolate.

The Fairytale Company Of Denmark was setup last year to bring Danish culture to China. It developed a gift book in the B2B market that contains Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale ‘The Ugly Duckling’ and Michelsen’s handmade chocolate and this year it plans to target premium supermarkets in China.

‘We have a story to tell’

Morten Klæstrup, chief operating officer Fairytale Company of Denmark, told ConfectioneryNews: “The chocolate is wrapped in a book – it’s like when you want to smuggle a gun into a prison!”

He said that while there were already many foreign players in the premium Chinese chocolate market - such as Lindt, Godiva and Neuhaus - “not one of them has a story to tell like we have – there’s no extra thing about them”.

The Fairytale Company has exclusive rights to market its product in China via a partnership with the Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Odense Denmark.

The Ugly Duckling


Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Ugly Duckling’ was first published in 1843. It tells the story of a duckling that is teased by the other birds who later matures into a beautiful swan. Walt Disney produced a cartoon adaption of the tale in 1931.

Growing Chinese market

The company approached Michelsen because the Danish chocolate company was focused only on the Danish market, making its production skewed towards Christmas.

“It’s a great opportunity for Michelsen to export to a market in growth,”​ said Klæstrup, who has operated in China for 15 years as CEO of export business Seafood Sales.

According to IBISWorld, China’s chocolate and candy market reached $21bn in 2014, having grown 19% every year since 2009.

Daniel Paetsch, CEO of Michelsen, said: “China is a significant market for a small business like ours, and The Fairytale Company of Denmark’s focused approach of gifting fits us very well.”

‘A fairytale country’

Paetsch, who joined the Board of the Fairytale Company, said Michelsen had developed a H.C. Andersen gift box some years ago and was a ‘Purveyor to the Danish Royal Court’, which made it a natural fit for Fairytale’s book venture.

Michelsen's logo is featured on the front of the books.

Klæstrup said that Denmark was viewed in China as “a fairytale country” because of its Queen and wealthy population. ​He added that  H.C. Andersen was renowned in China. “The Chinese recognize him well because they have been reading him since first grade.”

The Fairytale Company is currently operating in the B2B gifting market but in June, it hopes to move into high-end supermarkets in China, starting in Shanghai.

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