F E A T U R E
Chocolates More By Swarnendu Biswas
rban India’s love affair with chocolates is getting mature. In fact, the relationship of India with chocolates is a long one and has gone through various evolutions over the decades. Over the years, the market positioning and consumer profile of chocolate products have undergone significant changes in India. Till the mid ‘90s, chocolate products were primarily or rather mainly children’s products, and were meant to be occasional indulgences for children. This bland market positioning addressed the market for chocolate products for several decades. From there chocolate products graduated to occasional luxuries for urban Indians of all age groups. This transition took place about two decades ago.
Interesting Evolution A Cadbury Dairy Milk advertisement of the mid ‘90s titled Kuch Khas Hai
Zindagi Mein must be mentioned in this context. The advertisement addressed to bridge the generation barrier in chocolate consumption in India. This advertisement was part of the ‘Real Taste of Life’ campaign by Cadbury India, which helped position Cadbury Dairy Milk as the chocolate that awakened the little child in every grown up. In the next phase, chocolate products in urban India began to make their presence felt in as gift items. This trend began developing during 2004-05 onwards. Nowadays, using chocolates as gift items during festivities is an established trend across big cities of the country, and given the present socio-economic dynamics, this trend is only expected to mature into a convention across upper middle class and middle class urban India, in the coming years. Cadbury has played an important role in positioning chocolates as gift items during festivities. Cadbury Celebrations debuted on the Indian festival stage in 1997, and helped position chocolate as a replacement to the traditional mithai. Cadbury Celebrations also came up with a new format for chocolate — chocolate laddoos— which put up a challenging positioning to the traditional motichoor and other laddoos. The role of chocolate products in India was further enhanced during the recent years. From luxurious indulgences for children to indulgences for all age groups to playing a role in endorsing or emphasising the emotional bond during festivities, chocolate products are now also being positioned as energy boosters and as means of satiating hunger. A recent advertisement of Perk projects the product as an energy booster while Mars’s Snickers
is being projected as a snack that can satiate pangs of hunger. Along with these developments, the chocolate market in India has witnessed or is witnessing another parallel trend. From occasional indulgences of luxury, chocolate products have become affordable and fairly regular consumption items among many upwardly mobile well-heeled Indians. For them chocolate products have become fun to eat snack which feature fairly regularly in their consumption. Moreover, the chocolate choices of a section of Indian consumers have also evolved during the recent years. They have graduated from occasional bites of Cadbury Dairy Milk, Kit Kat, 5 Star or Perk to indulging in high-end chocolate brands and even towards consumption of artisan and designer chocolates from creative chocolatiers.
The Broad Structure of the Market The chocolate market in India can be broadly demarcated into three segments. They are mass brands like Cadbury Dairy Milk, Kit Kat and Perk, then there are premium chocolate brands like Bournville, Silk and Toblerone(all brands of Mondelez International), Ferrero Rocher, Kinder Joy, Snickers, etc. and then there are artisan and customised chocolates created by stand-alone chocolatiers or by Pastry Chefs in five-star hotels. “Parallel to premium chocolate brands and the market dominance of mass appeal, the market for handcrafted or designer chocolate is also emerging which is catering to the select pockets of urban India,” observed Ashish Kumar Gupta, Bakery Sous Chef, MLounge at Mosaic Hotels, Noida. In this regard, he passionately talked