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Amul to extend the ‘dark chocolate revolution’

It’s a ‘dark revolution’ for the dairy cooperative major, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF), as it aggressively expands its chocolate vertical by making high cocoa-content chocolate variants under its ‘single origin dark chocolates’.

The Amul marketer, GCMMF is getting new recognition as India’s ‘dark chocolate maker’ as it offers nutritionally-rich cocoa with maximum quantity in a chocolate bite making the chocolate consumption a healthy affair. Having chocolates with upto 75 per cent cocoa content, Amul now plans to launch 100 per cent cocoa chocolate setting new rules for the chocolate industry.

Cocoa, according to health professionals, is a rich source of anti-oxidants, iron, calcium and other minerals besides its ‘bitter’ taste. “The aim is to upgrade the existing chocolate consumers from sugar-rich to cocoa-rich experience. We are the only player to have cocoa content of up to 75 per cent in our dark chocolates. Soon, we will be launching chocolates with 90 per cent cocoa-content and going upto 100 per cent. Amul chocolates have created a new niche in the chocolate industry,” R S Sodhi, Managing Director, GCMMF told.

Amul has invested j300 crore to upgrade its chocolate facility at Mogar on National Highway-8 from 200 tonnes per month to 1000 tonnes with an excess room for doubling the capacity at the same premises. From the current turnover of barely j150 crore from chocolates, Amul looks to touch Rs 1000 crore turnover by 2020 as awareness and acceptance rises for the dark-chocolates.

“This will mean more money to farmers. Higher earnings of GCMMF will be ultimately distributed among the farmers. This way, we are redefining the Amul brand with more inclusive portfolio and premium offerings in line with the pure and natural image of the brand,” said Sodhi.

In 1973, Amul forayed into chocolates to supply chocolate for its ice-cream variants. Later, Amul Chocolates were launched with tagline — a gift for someone you love.. For decades, chocolates failed to get attention in the milk-dominated operations of the Federation.

But in mid-2016, Amul revamped its chocolate branding and introduced dark chocolate in different varieties.

However, noted brand consultant, Harish Bijoor looks at Amul’s chocolate journey as a tiny step forward into the country’s multi-layered chocolate market. “There are segments like upper-end, middle-end and lower-end. The volumes lie in the lower-end, where Amul stands. But as India’s GDP grows at the current pace, urbanisation index climbs further and consumption expenditure grows, we see chocolate market growing further with many more people entering the market,” said Bijoor.

But Bijoor has a word of caution for Amul, which sells its dark chocolates in 150-gram bars. “Amul’s dispensation or unit size is very large and appears as an Industrial consumption chocolate. The chocolates are usually considered in bite size, either single-bite or 20-odd bites such as most of Cadbury variants. When it goes beyond that — like 60-bite size — the value of the chocolate is lost.

Source: Business Line

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