Guylian is renowned worldwide for its seashell and seahorse-patterned chocolates, targeted to consumers in search of more premium and artistically-inclined products – and since its inception in 1958, the firm’s portfolio grew massively to a staggering over 1,000 SKUs across 120 different countries.
“When new Guylian CEO Tom Snick took over the helm of the company two years back, he realised that this enormous portfolio was really stretching resources and inflating our focus inefficiently – so he decided that it was time for a revamp and streamlining,” Guylian Duty Free and Retail Travel Senior Channel Manager Sven Adrianssens told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“So now Guylian’s portfolio has been cut to retain three key areas: Our original seashells with praline filling; the Temptations range which are chocolate seahorses with various fillings, and our new chocolate tablets in different flavours.
“Within each of these there are of course several variants such as dark chocolate at different percentages and milk chocolate and so on – but this streamlining means that our focus can now be more targeted where it needs to be.”
He added that a variety of new dark chocolate products have been added to the Guylian portfolio despite the streamlining project as the firm has recognised this as a growing trend in the APAC region and beyond.
“There is a lot of growth in demand and sales for dark chocolate products, and we recognise that there is much opportunity to be found here,” he said.
“This trend was what inspired the launch of our new 72% dark praline chocolate variety, and it is certainly being seen strongly in many markets including in APAC.
“There has been a lot of anticipation for our dark chocolate innovation, and this is likely a health-related thing where there are more concerns amongst consumers in their confectionery consumption – no doubt this is also something of a challenge for us and the chocolate market, but also a major growth opportunity.
“In addition to the dark praline, we have also launched no-sugar items in line with this demand – one example would be our 84% chocolate tablets which are already minimally sweet and even the remaining sweetness comes from the use of stevia.”
Expansion and growth
Despite its widespread reach to over 100 markets internationally, Guylian still sees pockets of growth potential especially in Asia.
“India is definitely a market of interest for us, particularly from a travel retail perspective,” Adrianssens said.
“The country in general is growing massively in terms of population, and there is also a rapid increase in terms of both the middle class as well as its young population – which spells very good things for the growth of chocolate consumption.
“So India is certainly one where we will be focusing on as a new centre of development, in addition to China where we are certainly also seeing a surge on the way with more and more business opening up again here post-pandemic.”
In terms of product innovation, the focus for Guylian will be to define new flavours and concepts without falling into the trap of overly rapid SKU introductions just like before.
“We haven’t exactly decided what direction the new flavours or concepts will go in, but it will be more exciting than before as we now want to ensure proper global reach based on each market’s preferences,” he said.
“So this means a lot of research into flavours that appeal to each demographic e.g. caramel products in the UK, less sweet in Asia and so on – as well as designing our packaging to meet expectations from larger ones for gifting to smaller ones for on-the-go snacking.”