Growing need for specialty private label chocolate, says Chocolat Bernrain

By Oliver Nieburg contact

- Last updated on GMT

Demand for specialty chocolate in private label rising, says Chocolat Bernrain. Photo: CB
Demand for specialty chocolate in private label rising, says Chocolat Bernrain. Photo: CB

Related tags: Chocolate, Types of chocolate

More retailers are demanding vegan and lactose-free chocolate under their own label in Europe than ever before, according to Chocolat Bernrain.

The Swiss firm - whose sales come mainly from private label - was exhibiting a new range of tea-based chocolate at the ISM trade fair in Germany under its own Chocolat Stella brand.

It can also produce the range under private label.

Smaller batches

Speaking to ConfectioneryNews in Cologne, Monica Müller , CEO and owner of Chocolat Bernrain, said: "What we've seen recently is there are more and more specialties: Chocolate for people with allergies or special needs like vegan.

“The batches are getting smaller in our production. The needs of our customers are becoming more specific.

"The allergy problems were not there so significantly 50 years ago. In Central Europe people are taking more care.

“At the moment it's vegan chocolate since about three years."

Staying in the family

Müller is the third generation owner of the family company, which was the first business to produce private label chocolate in Switzerland in the 1950s.

Müller's grandparents started manufacturing chocolate in the late 1940s.

CSB_OF_Curcuma_schraeg
Chocolat Stella also introduced a 100 g dark chocolate tablet with turmeric & black pepper at the ISM to capitalize on consumers’ health perception of curcumin in Europe. Photo: CB

"There are nine children of the fourth generation, so we look forward to keeping it a family business," ​she said.

The company today has around 150 employees and operates two factories in Switzerland -  one in Lake Constance, near the German border, and another in Giubiasco, near the Italian border.

Around 80% of the company’s sales are for private label products.

Tea chocolate range

But the firm recently developed a range of tea chocolates under its Chocolat Stella brand after spotting an organic tea powder at Biofach last year. 

"Green tea has been seen in chocolate for at least 10 or 15 years [mainly in Japan]. The idea of putting tea powder in chocolate is not new, but I have not seen it in Middle Europe,”​ said Müller.

The company showcased tea chocolate protypes at the ISM trade fair, but says it could begin producing for private label customers straight away.

stella-tea-choc
Photo: CB

Chocolat Stella started with Earl Grey with white chocolate before adding Morinaga peppermint tea with dark chocolate and Chai tea with milk chocolate to create a range of 70 g bars for premium retail.

Distrbutors in German and Japan are set to stock the range under the Chocolat Stella brand, said Müller.

"I expect Europe will take this chocolate - I'm not sure about the US. Being European I think it fits the market,”​ she said.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Outsourcing, Premium

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