Luxury US confectionery company Sugarfina unveils Asia expansion drive

By Lester Wan contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sugarfina is partnering Upper East Holdings Ltd, known for its success in bringing patisserie Lady M to Hong Kong.
Sugarfina is partnering Upper East Holdings Ltd, known for its success in bringing patisserie Lady M to Hong Kong.

Related tags: Luxury, Confectionery, Usa, Hong kong

Beverly Hills luxury confectionery manufacturer and retail brand Sugarfina will open its first store in Asia this July and already has further expansion plans for other Asian markets.

The firm’s first overseas store will be located in Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong.

“We see Hong Kong as the gateway to the rest of Asia, with so many people from Asia and around the world visiting Hong Kong for business and leisure. At the same time, Hong Kong is one of the major shopping destinations in the world,” ​said Rosie O’Neill, co-founder & CEO of Sugarfina.

In this endeavour, Sugarfina is partnering Upper East Holdings Ltd, the franchise operator known for its success in bringing US-based patisserie Lady M to Hong Kong.

“They (Upper East Holdings) have a deep understanding of the local market, not only culturally but also in conducting business affairs, and they share our entrepreneurial approach. Through this partnership, we’ve been able to overcome a lot of the typical challenges brands encounter when they enter a market for the first time,”​ O’Neill shared with FoodNavigator-Asia.

Sugarfina creates luxury confectionery treats for adults, including a famous cocktail candy collection encompassing Champagne Bears, Single Malt Scotch Cordials and Rosé All Day Bears — with a waiting list of more than 18,000 people.

The boutique also features exotic, premium candy offerings from around the world, such as Golden Truffle Eggs from Italy and interlocking chocolate wedding rings from Greece.

Eye on Asia

O’Neill said that she expects Sugarfina to grow in the Asia Pacific region in the next few years. Aside from additional stores in other locations in Hong Kong, boutiques are also planned for Macau and mainland China.

She told us she is also hoping to expand the brand to Korea, Japan, Taiwan and South East Asia “in the years to come”​.

“We are focused on identifying and building relationships with franchise partners to help us succeed in regional expansion. Our vision is big and we know we can’t do this without the right partners in place,” ​she said.

The new Hong Kong store

The new 900-square-foot Sugarfina boutique in Hong Kong will give customers a broad selection of luxury confectionery.

In celebration of the first store overseas and in Asia, Sugarfina is creating an exclusive two-piece Candy Bento Box inspired by the Hong Kong tram. The gift box will include Sugarfina's signature Rosé All Day Bears & Fuji Apple Caramel candies.

This Candy Bento Box, along with other established brand favourites and new seasonal collections, will be available exclusively at the Hong Kong boutique.

“We’ve adjusted our merchandising strategy a bit to focus on flavours and shapes that are more relevant to the Hong Kong market,” ​said O’Neill.

“We know the market values exclusivity and we are excited to launch new flavours and packaging concepts that don’t have a home in the United States.”

The Hong Kong store will be operated by 15 staff members, though O’Neill said they “expect that team to grow quickly as we expand within the market”​.

Sugarfina has been named within the "World's 50 Most Innovative Companies" and "World's 10 Most Innovative Retailers" by Fast Company. It has stores in more than 50 locations across North America.

According to O’Neill, Sugarfina’s revenue amounted to US$40m last year and is on track to hit US$60m this year.

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