Over the years, chocolate industry has grown in its size with the rise in demand of the consumers. In India, the chocolate industry valued at INR 58bn (USD966mn) in FY 2014, has been growing at a CAGR (Compound annual growth rate) of 15 per cent over the last three years. Value notes estimates that the industry will be worth nearly INR 122bn (USD 2,033mn) by FY 2019, growing at a CAGR of 16 per cent.
‘Disposable income, changing lifestyles and a penchant for indulgence make India one of the fastest growing chocolate industries. Chocolate is not just meant for children anymore as was the perception, but adults too are favouring it as a sweet tooth/ anytime snack. The per capita consumption though low is now gradually on the rise. Also the availability of foreign generic brands at local grocery stores & supermarkets is leading to a definite growth in the chocolate business’ shared Chef Anirudha Patil, Corporate Chef-OnShore, CBCS.
Building a chocolaty biz
With growing demand, the chocolate business has become more popular because of the increased consumption, giving gift and also for cooking purposes. Due to this many unique types of special chocolates emerged in the market. In addition to this chocolate has many benefits for instance lowering cholesterol levels, preventing cognitive decline, reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems and many more.
‘The healthier version of chocolates is to be among the next generation of functional foods, pushing the antioxidant effects of dark chocolate. In many countries, chocolate is an essential component of religious events, special occasions and festivals. Today, more than 100 different varieties of chocolates are enjoyed by the young and old from Brussels to New York, Sydney to Tokyo and from Paris to India” said Darshit Shah, MD, Leonidas Belgian Chocolates to Franchise India.
Challenges in growing the biz
With the growing business, there are some barriers too like high raw material prices, lack of government initiative, ambiguity on licenses about liquor being used as a chocolate stuffing, high space rentals, information penetration into Tier II & Tier III cities needed (still considered to be a city centric product), ambient room temperatures, moisture and humidity hamper storage.
‘We make 100 per cent Pure Couverture Chocolate, being a delicate product, the biggest challenge is to maintain the temperature of 18 Degree Celsius through the year in our boutiques and ensure the same temperature is maintained during transportation as well. It becomes a challenge during peak summer months of May-July especially in scorching sunlight of Delhi-NCR. With state of the art cooling methods we have adopted over the years, we are able to maintain the right temperature and humidity so our customers get the exact same consistency each time they bite into our chocolates’ commented Vibhu Mahajan, COO, Choko la.
Taking a leap
It can be said that even during the recession period, the chocolaty business will keep growing. As now-a-days one can find many healthier varieties of chocolates and also the consumers are ready to pay a heavy amount for it.
Moreover, many start-ups are planning to start a business in this segment. ‘I can definitely foresee rapid growth with many people/ new age entrepreneurs using the chocolate business as a start up venture. Also the introduction of assorted varieties with unusual flavours is a big hit. Innovation is also playing a major role through combining local and foreign flavours for exotic new products and gourmet brands are becoming household names’ added Patil.