Most company’s products now are semi-finished cocoa goods and ingredients, but since early 2017 the company has been conducting studies and research and development on producing finished chocolate products.
According to Selene Wang, assistant director of international sales, Jiangsu Wuxi Taihu Cocoa Food had a rich history in China for making finished chocolate products.
However, around 2005, the chocolate-making segment of the company’s business was acquired by US chocolate giant Hershey’s.
It is now manufacturing chocolate gold coins, which are available online, and examining further new product opportunities.
“We’ve started to promote the product around this time, but because different (international) regions have different recipes, different tastes and different flavours, we will have to see what our customers like before going further,” Wang told us at Gulfood.
Trends and competitiveness
Wang added, internationally, the cocoa and chocolate segment is becoming more and more competitive.
“With other new chocolate trends like chocolate firm Barry Callebaut launching the new type of chocolate — ruby chocolate — it has raised interest and spurred the market. All the chocolate producers want to be in this market and to have a piece of the pie. They all want to increase market share, enter to compete in finished products, and increase profit margins,” said Wang.
Middle East sentiments
Jiangsu Wuxi Taihu Cocoa Food attended the Dubai event to visit some of the company’s ingredients customers and to find out more about Middle East cocoa and chocolate markets.
However, Wang said it was still hard to say if there was significant potential for greater business in the region.
Jiangsu Wuxi Taihu Cocoa Food has two chocolate manufacturing facilities, one in Wuxi, in the Jiangsu province of China, and another in Nigeria.
The company sells cocoa butter to the US and cocoa powder to South America, the Philippines, India and Pakistan. The company’s business in the Middle East is new, but they already have some customers from the region.
The company also has sales offices in India, Russia and Brazil, and employs about 300 people in China alone.