Emerging markets

Lindt chocolate eyes Asia for market share gain

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

Lindt's Asian markets grew 33.3% in sales last year. Pic: Lindt
Lindt's Asian markets grew 33.3% in sales last year. Pic: Lindt
Lindt is heading to the Tax Free World Association (TFWA) Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference 2018 in Singapore this week with a range of customized chocolates for Asian travelers.

These products include the Lindor Delux Heart, a special edition Chinese New Year gift set and Lindt Mini Pralines that has 32 miniature chocolates in a 3x44g multipack, said the Switzerland-based company.

Lindt previously noted the travel retail chocolate market remained stagnant globally in 2017 despite rising passenger volumes.

However, that trend does not seem to resonate with its Asian markets, which together grew 33.3% in sales​ last year.

“Gifting is important to the traveling Asian customers, confirming its prominence in the market… [Our] goal is to drive market share in the Asian region,”​ it said.

Retail stores for Japan; e-commerce for China

Lindt noted its strategy targeting Asia also varies depending on specific countries.

In Japan for example, where the company posted a sales growth of 57.7% last year, Lindt invested in expanding its chocolate café and boutique concept by opening retail stores at prime locations.

“Here Lindt puts the focus squarely on an exceptional customer experience,”​ it said. “In 2017 alone, we opened 10 new boutiques [which total 30 shops across the country].”

Meanwhile in China, Lindt is mainly focusing on the e-commerce channel and distribution partnerships in first-tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.

“Our e-commerce channel achieved unusually high growth in 2017 due to the high visibility of the Lindt flagship e-store in China’s leading online marketplaces, Tmall and JD,”​ said the company.

Its high visibility in China was partly boosted by Lindt’s growing popularity as a luxury gift at Chinese New Year. “The stronger presence at wedding fairs, in order to profit from the rising popularity of premium chocolate as a wedding gift, also improve brand awareness,”​ added the company.

Additionally, Lindt secured a high single-digit growth last year in Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong respectively through its Lindor products in the seasonal business and the product samplings of its Excellence Dark Festival.

“Lindt are to launch more festive gifting options towards the end of the year, which is when most Asian festivities and celebrations take place,”​ it said.

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