Unwrapping the bar: Sweet future seen for PH chocolate market
Lindt master chocolatier Thomas Schnetzler believes people have been craving for treats after being cooped up inside their homes during the pandemic, with chocolate seen as one of the most sought-after indulgence these days.
“There’s definitely some revenge treating-yourself, catching up on things and with people that you haven’t seen for a long time, and sort of gifting them something as well,” Schnetzler says.
“Chocolate is a treat. It’s something that is indulgent. It’s something that makes us feel good,” he adds further, explaining people’s fascination with the sweet treat.
Schnetzler says they have distinguished themselves from other brands through the quality of chocolate products, explaining that their processes veer are more “artisanal” rather than “commercial.”
“One of the truly unique things at Lindt is that we are in charge of every step of the chocolate-making process,” Schnetzler says.
Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprungli AG, or simply as Lindt, is a Switzerland-based chocolatier and confectionery company that has been in the chocolate business for more than 175 years.
It has remained one of the most successful chocolate makers today, offering its sweet creations—including chocolate truffles and chocolate bars—in around 120 countries across the globe.
Sales of Lindt chocolate products in the Philippines are expected to pick up as the holiday season draws nearer. Prospects for next year are anticipated to even get sweeter not just for the Swiss chocolate company, but for the whole chocolate industry as well.
This is based on continuing signs of recovery this year, as well as the ongoing “revenge trends” amid pent-up demand following by the health crisis, Schnetzler says.
Warren Chua, vice president of Nature’s Harvest Corp., the official distribution partner of the Lindt chocolate products in the Philippines, estimates that chocolate gift-giving is still down by around 10 percent compared with prepandemic volume.
“Hopefully by next year, we would be back to pre-COVID levels,” Chua tells Inquirer, noting that as commercial establishments have opened up, people now have easier access to indulgences that had been cut off during the pandemic.
The company executive also expects the Christmas and the New Year holiday season to drive up gift-giving and especially benefit the chocolate business.
“We, Filipinos, love sweets. And we love gifting. And what better to give the gift of love than through chocolates? So I think it’s a great match,” Chua said.
And Valentine’s Day also comes barely two months after the New Year turnover, that time of the year when chocolate gifts, paired with flowers, are often exchanged between couples, young and old.
“We are a romantic people. And I think gifting chocolates is a good way to express that love,” he says.
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