China is considered as the world’s largest producer of sugar and has also become the largest producer of chocolate. Mars Group, the major chocolate manufacturer in China is contributing the major part of the Chinese economy. About 70% of the foreign chocolate brands like Dove, Cadbury and Hershey’s are acquired by the Chinese chocolate market. In fact, Barry Callebaut, the world’s largest chocolate manufacturer comes with 25% of the market in China. It has opened its first chocolate factory in Suzhou City of the country. Recently, it has made its way in the Chinese market offering it a significant share. With the heavy global competition in the market, the China’s local companies have been subjected to fierce competition.
China’s consumption of chocolate
According to the recent survey done by the Association of Chinese chocolate Manufacturer about the Chocolate market in China, every year China consumes about 70 grams of chocolate per capita. With the interpretation of the data it has been found that the top 20 chocolate makers are present in the market. In Shanghai, about 70 brands of chocolates can be found and most of them are of foreign brands. The Chinese consumers are in the habit of consuming foreign brand chocolates and these are most popular in the market. Around 35 percent of the people prefer to have foreign brands and 22 percent prefer to have the local brands of chocolates.
Foreign brands dominate the market of chocolate in China
Almost 90% of the market is dominated by the foreign brand of chocolates. The famous brands of chocolates which have captured the market are Dove, Cadbury, Ferreira and Leconte. Leconte is a local brand of chocolates while the other three are foreign brands. The rapid growth of Chinese chocolate market is good news for its local chocolate companies; Chinese consumers today prefer to have these brands of chocolates. Dove chocolate occupies one third of the consumption in the market. The brands mentioned hold top priority in the Chinese market. There are other brands of chocolates like Meiji, Lindi and Sprungli which has occupied the medium to high class chocolate market.
China only has a chocolate manufacturing history of less than 60 years and hence there is an inevitable gap behind foreign brands in terms of production techniques and technologies. Though, lacking of appropriate processing equipment and complete production facilities, the assurance of product quality has become highest priority and companies have been maintaining quality standards at the highest levels. Local Chinese chocolate companies are working hard to have good infrastructure and personnel in production departments, thus resulting in fast product developments changes and updates. Hence most of the local chocolate companies are giving a tough competition to many international brands.
The local chocolate companies in China are trying hard to improve the quality of their product, matching international standards and quality. Selecting better raw ingredients, by upgrading the production facilities, adopting international technologies, leading to increase product innovation and brand management. By following these techniques the Chinese are competing with the multinational companies and acquiring their share in the foreign dominated Chinese chocolate market.