Premium chocolate is a type of chocolate that contains a higher percentage of cocoa solids than regular milk chocolate. Other aspects that are used to distinguish premium chocolate from other types of chocolate include the high quantity of cocoa used in the product; whether it is fairtrade and sustainably sourced; if it combines other ingredients, such as raspberry chunks or alcohol; and if the packaging has a sophisticated feel. Premium chocolates are also made with whole milk instead of skim milk and has a high fat content. The global premium chocolate market is expected to grow significantly between 2023 and 2030. Data Bridge Market Research projects that the market will be growing with a compound annual growth rate of 4.3% in this period.
The rising popularity of premium chocolates as gifting items for special occasions is identified as a key market driver. Further, this trend has created many opportunities and scope, which major firms, such as Mars Inc., Mondelez International, and Nestlé, are addressing with increasing product launches and product expansions. Moreover, attractive product offerings from regional and global brands are influencing consumer spending on premium chocolates. For instance, in Dubai, the chocolate producer Forrey and Galland offers a range of classic and Arabic fusion handmade chocolates. The firm also offers the option of personalisation to customers to buy chocolates that suit their individual tastes. Other chocolate firms, such as Cacao Sampaka and Godiva, have an extensive catalogue of corporate gift chocolate boxes. Such offerings with unique packaging and customisation options are also making premium chocolates a perfect gift for any occasion.
Seasonal demand plays an important role in the sales of premium chocolates. In the global market, the gifting of chocolates plays a major role, and which leads to the increase in the festive seasons, especially on Easter, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and others such as Mother’s Day. The growing influence of online retailing is also considered one of the prime reasons for the increased sales of seasonal chocolates.
Over the years, several studies have pointed to the health benefits of eating dark chocolate, that is, chocolate with a high cocoa content (usually 65 to 80%). For starters, dark chocolate usually has less sugar and more cocoa solids, which is where beneficial flavanol compounds reside. Flavanols are thought to lower blood pressure and improve heart health. Raw cacao has many beneficial qualities: it is high in magnesium, which can curb sugar cravings, is high in fibre, and contains iron and protein, as well as antioxidants. Furthermore, a few recent research findings indicate that chocolate consumption aids in looking younger due to its anti-aging properties. It also relieves stress. This fact is expected to push the demand for chocolate in the Middle East and African countries. Moreover, the demand for fine flavour cocoa in regions such as Saudi Arabia and South Africa is experiencing substantial growth. Ultra- and high-end beans are used for gourmet chocolates and regular, and low-fine beans are used for regular premium chocolates. This development is driven by the health trend and the quest for more exclusive products.
The awareness of the consumption of vegan, organic, and gluten free chocolates has also slowly evolved among global consumers. Vegan chocolate helps in improving brain function and is considered much better for health than standard chocolates. Vegan chocolates are made from plant-based ingredients instead of dairy, eggs, and gelatine, which means it contains less fat, fewer calories, and no cholesterol. Cacao powder is used in making vegan chocolates which come from cacao beans that haven’t been roasted. Since these beans arenot heated to a high temperature during processing, it helps in keeping all their vitamins and minerals intact. Also, vegan chocolates don’t have any milk in them, so they contain a lot of fibre, protein, and antioxidants.
A gluten-free diet is an alternative for those who have celiac disease. Eating gluten can cause your intestines to become inflamed and damaged, leading to various health problems, including vitamin deficiencies, anaemia, and osteoporosis. Pure dark chocolate that is unsweetened and derived from roasted cacao beans doesn’t contain gluten naturally. Therefore, preference of gluten-free chocolate is a tasty and healthy alternative to regular chocolate due to its health benefits.
Two important aspects that chocolate manufacturers must consider are the following.
In 2023, most chocolate confectionery categories have seen double-digit growth in unit prices because of rising production costs, such as added overhead costs for back-up power generation, and rising prices of raw materials. The costs of ingredients and other inputs are expected to continue to rise, which will see brands continue to increase unit prices.
In January 2023, the South African government, in line with global trends, gazetted a draft of Regulations Relating to the Labelling and Advertising of Foodstuffs, which is open for public comment. The proposed changes in the draft regulation aim to ensure greater transparency, protect consumers against misleading claims, and promote healthier dietary choices.
The outcome of this assignment is a strategic marketing report for Lindt &Sprüngli, South Africa.
Students are required to compile a strategic marketing report, that focuses on the following main topic:
“Develop applicable, novel and creative marketing strategies to maintain and increase the sales of Lindt & Sprüngli’s chocolate products in South Africa. Keep in mind that the premium image of the brand should be maintained.”
Strategies should be based on results from comprehensive marketing research on the South African chocolate industry.Research and arguments should be based on what students have learnt during this module, as well as from other modules and research conducted.
You are expected to do the following:
• Form a group of minimum one and maximum five members.
• Compile a strategic marketing report of between 15 and 20 pages in which a number of aspects are addressed.
• The main aspects to be addressed as well as the weight that each aspect will carry in terms of mark allocation, are as follows:
Strategic Marketing Report of Premium Chocolate
This strategic marketing report is developed for Lindt & Sprungli in South Africa. The main focus area of analysis in the given report is on achieving improvement over the sales of premium chocolate products of the company. A critical evaluation is performed with respect to the market environment of the company, including an evaluation of consumer insights and competitive scenario as prevalent in the industry. Based on the industry analysis, appropriate marketing objectives would be determined, and the report includes a clear definition on the product and pricing strategy and marketing communication and budget allocation for the same.
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