The Anchor: 5 reasons why chocolates are the sweetest things to gift this Diwali

09 Nov,2012

By Deepa D’Souza

 

India has woken up to the fad of chocolate being considered as a gift proposition. While even till few years ago sweets were the only option in delicacy gifting, overt media exposure and smart marketing techniques have positioned chocolates as an alternative.

 

Mintel’s new research shows that seasonal launches have proved to be particularly dynamic across the market, with 300% increase between 2008 and 2011, accounting for 7% of total new product launches in 2011 vs. 2% in 2008.

 

Given the importance that gifting has in Indian culture especially during seasonal festivities, it is not surprising that chocolate gifting is a significant market. Indian people usually are seen spending more on gifting to others than they do on self-consumption in this category. Chocolates is soon replacing tradition sweets as option for gifting occasions such as Diwali, Rakhi, Christmas, Eid, Valentines celebrations etc.

 

According to leading retailers in India last year, 40-45% of all chocolate sales in India were during the festive season, up from 30% the previous year. Influx of International brands selling at affordable ranges especially in Gift packs adding an Indian touch to the pack has helped this sudden surge.

 

Five key reasons that could be driving this change in consumerism are:

 

01. Convenience

While chocolates undoubtedly remain a popular distress gift purchase for those short of time or ideas, the growth of the artisan chocolatier sector is breathing new life into the gifting of chocolate.

 

Chocolate gift options are now available across the stores, be it a supermarket or a mom and pop store as against traditional sweets, available in specific stores and may be limited to the neighborhood of a consumer.

 

Apart from this there are plenty of stores that offer Gift Wrapping and free home deliveries so the burden of carrying the huge bulk of purchase for the festive occasion is further reduced by offering more convenience to the consumer.

 

We’ve seen how packaging motivates purchasing, offering both convenience and Premiumness with Ferrero offering bespoke gold packaging and Mars’ Galaxy rebranding its range as “Shubh Avasar” (auspicious occasion).

 

02. Hygiene/ Longer Shelf Life

Many Indians consider chocolate assortment boxes to be more hygienic and longer-lasting than traditional Indian sweets. This mindset has contributed to an increase in volume sales as the popularity of seasonal gifting of chocolate, particularly during Diwali, has grown over the last decade. According to Mintel’s research chocolate volume has grown strongly in the past few years, to reach 88 thousand tonnes in 2011 – up from 50 thousand tonnes in 2008. This equates to a per capita consumption of 70 grams in 2011 up from 40 grams in 2008.

 

With the increasing incidence of adulteration in traditional sweets and a media uproar which may have dented the likeness of consumer to traditional sweet. On the contrary chocolates are perceived to offer hygiene and quality standards that make them a safer option.

 

03. Premium Appeal

Indians have always had a fascination for international brands perceiving the Quality and taste to give a more premium feel to it. People want to be seen gifting imported chocolates because they connote premiumness.

 

Premiumisation as a claim has seen a 100% growth over last three years, from 4% of launches in 2008 to 6% in 2011 of the total New Product launches in the chocolate confectionery as shown by Mintel’s new research.

 

Last couple of years Lindt, a premium chocolate confectionery brand entered India, with prices range from Rs 90 for a 35 gm pack of dark chocolate to Rs 195-Rs 235 for a 100 gm bar, going up to Rs 2,500 for a gift pack. Besides Mars, Snickers and Bounty bars and other imported chocolate brands are found in India also including those of Cadbury, Ferrero Rocher and Hershey’s.

 

Chocolates in the corporate gifting segment are the new trend, with variety of gift-packaging and customization in branding. Chocolates have become a premium gifting option.

 

Personalization as a key trend is growing strong in the Western markets whilst personalization or customization is a gap to be explored for the Indian chocolate Market. Gourmets, handmade and personalizing are some features that could entice the Niche segments. Traditional Sweets do offer customization which can be a cue for the chocolate manufacturers to explore this opportunity.

 

Aspirational buying is a key trend seen across food and non-food categories in India. There is an opportunity for foreign brands to revamp their products to better suit Indian tastes while offering a Premium promise.

 

04. Adults buying in

Until a few years ago, chocolate was more of a child’s goody but today it’s every brand’s challenge to extend it to cater to the nouveau targets – The Adults, by attaching an occasion for its consumption or playing on the nostalgia.

 

It’s been a rather successful effort put in by chocolate manufacturers to extend its offering to the adult segments all of it supported by media campaigns which hovers around creating an indulgence platform. Dark Chocolate has been a key step towards the adult positioning; today every brand has or wants to have a range that exclusively is with dark chocolate – Cocoa 60% and more.

 

According to Mintel’s Analysis Dark Chocolates have grown 160% in 2011 vs. 2009, a positive for marketing the category to the adults.

 

05. Accessibility – value and variety

Thanks to rise in organized retail, this has benefited the chocolate manufacturers to offer value in gift packs. The Indian consumer is clearly enjoying the modern trade formats, because of simple reasons of value, range and ambience that these stores offer.

 

To enhance the potential for increased gifting sales, most brands are putting efforts into in-store display, banners or leaflet to stimulate consumer purchase not just during festive occasions but other holidays such as Children Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and newer occasions to choose a gift pack.

 

The other face to what possibly could be driving pick up of chocolates as a gift option is that consumers are considering an investment in chocolate to be justifiable in the current economy where inflationary prices to basic raw materials such as sugar, nuts and fat have put a pressure on the traditional sweet market. The chocolate manufacturers have launched chocolate gift boxes at various price points, starting as low as INR. 20/- onwards catering to both mass as well as premium segments.

 

Festive holidays are celebrated differently, and at different times, limited edition products can be designed for the traditions in each region to drive the festive sales.

 

The writer is Ms. Deepa D’Souza Trend and Innovation Consultant – India at Mintel

 

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3 responses to “The Anchor: 5 reasons why chocolates are the sweetest things to gift this Diwali”

  1. VIJAY says:

    Amazing!!! I like this website so much it’s really awesome.I have also gone through your other posts too and they are also very much appreciate able and I’m just waiting for your next update to come as I like all your posts… well I have also made an article hope you go through it. Diwali 2017 , Diwali images , Diwali wishes

  2. Saurabh Mittal says:

    Hi Deepa,

    Great points and very well explained. I would like to add another point to your blog.

    Chocolates can now be personalised. We started chococraft.in in 2013 offering custom print which is a loved by our customers.

  3. Prannay Pathak says:

    Ma’am. you look beautiful 🙂 Very Aesthetically.

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