Incorporating chocolate in local food applications is key to achieving market success for the category in China, according to Barry Callebaut, which expects to see launches of new products featuring its flagship Ruby chocolate increase this year.
In pursuing emerging markets, cross-category collaborations and a 'local-first' model, Mondelēz has maintained, and in some cases expanded, its stature as a global industry leader – led by the likes of Cadbury, Milka and Oreo.
Once perceived as an exotic delicacy – bought only as a luxury gift or an extravagant treat – the Chinese consumers’ taste for chocolate is growing and the ingredient is quickly cementing a niche for itself in bakery.
Barry Callebaut may build another chocolate factory in China as its current 30,000-suqare-meter site in the Suzhou Industrial Park is ‘already operating at near full capacity,’ says the company’s Asia Pacific president, Ben De Schryver.
While Mars is currently the market leader in China’s chocolate confectionery space, Ferrero has been growing over the past five years with increased shares year-over-year, the latest Euromonitor data shows.
China’s diverse bakery industry – encompassing bakers of traditional ‘pinyin’ (literally translated as ‘Chinese style cakes and snacks’) and producers of modern items like croissants and waffles – is growing at a rate that far exceeds most other segments.
Chinese police recently seized 300,000 counterfeit chocolate pieces during the 2017 Lunar New Year worth around 700 RMB ($102) per box, after a wedding candy store owner received complaints from local consumers.