Annual British chocolate exports continue to grow as Christmas demand also surges

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Chocolate brussels sprouts by James Chocolates. Pic: DTI
Chocolate brussels sprouts by James Chocolates. Pic: DTI

Related tags Christmas Exports

DIT supports James Chocolates as it strikes Christmas deal for chocolate brussels sprouts with Irish retailer and secures more lucrative deals in Australia, the United States and Europe.

Latest figures released by the UK government’s Department for International Trade (DIT) has revealed that, in the 12 months to October 2019, the UK exported over £730m worth of chocolates around the world – an increase of a third over the past four years.

James Chocolates, an award-winning producer based in the south west of England, is tapping into this demand, creating a unique range of Christmas-inspired chocolates for a supermarket chain in Ireland.

Christmas classics

The festive collection box consists of chocolates resembling Christmas classics such as brussels sprouts, chestnuts, Christmas puddings and mince pies.

The new deal, which is set to be worth £350,000 ($411,000) over the next five years, will see James Chocolates confectionery sold in stores across Ireland. An Irish supermarket chain has already ordered chocolate dragon eggs from the company for Easter and plans to place repeat orders in the future.

James Chocolates also landed a Christmas deal for its chocolate domes with a dessert manufacturer in Australia. The company says it is set to generate £1.3m ($1.7m) over the next five years from new deals secured in Australia, the United States and Europe.

James Chocolates founder and chief chocolatier James Hutchins said: “We have made chocolate brussels sprouts at Christmas for a few years now as we simply thought it would be a fun thing to do! And then we were given the opportunity to develop this new range which was really exciting​.

The idea of exporting wasn’t really on our radar until we started receiving enquiries from overseas. We still have plenty of scope to grow in our home market, and we will be working with DIT to develop a proactive export strategy in due course​.

Paul Shand, DIT’s head of trade in South West England, said: “The global demand for South West food and drink is strong all year round and companies across the region should really be tapping into this. Christmas, in particular, is such a busy time of year for UK businesses, so it is great to see James Chocolates take advantage of the international opportunities that it presents​.”

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