As Brits, we are a nation of chocolate lovers, with chocolate being eaten, drunk, used in beauty products and even worshipped across the country! While anthropologists have dated the earliest use of cacao to Olmec and Mayan civilisations in 1000 BC, chocolate is very much an indulgence that is stamped in the future of UK production.

Having recently enjoyed great success in the chocolate export market, the UK boasts some top, innovative brands, with up-and-coming companies such as Duffy Sheardown, Cocoa Runners and The Academy of Chocolate bringing the humble chocolate bar into the 21st century.

The top five countries purchasing UK chocolate are Ireland, The Netherlands, Germany, France and Poland, with big brands capitalising on the opportunities Brexit provides.

Chocolate on a notebook

Tips for your sweet export success

Nestlé, one of the UK’s largest confectionery producers, is a wonderful example of a great export strategy, having seen a huge rise in export figures over the past year. Currently, 17% of stock from their York facility is exported overseas, with the brains behind KitKat and Aero having enjoyed a £50m investment over the past five years.

Understanding the need for a tailored, holistic strategy, Nestlé work with multiple websites, PR messages and marketing styles, giving each country bespoke attention. By doing so, Nestlé exist as a staple brand across the globe, encouraging competitors to follow suit.

The following three tips have been used as a catalyst for export success by some of the biggest players in the confectionery industry, but they can be adapted to suit any company exporting their goods and services overseas.

Research the target market:

Taking time to delve into the culture of the country you are looking to export to is a must. By defining ways in which your product can complement their market, you will ensure the best chance of market success. From size and pricing to packaging and promotions, it is essential that you put your target market first.

Chocolate pralines

Localising marketing and PR material:

By localising marketing material and having the presence of a native point of contact in the target market, your content is not only engaging a wider audience, but it shows consumers that your brand speaks to them on a cultural level. By encouraging brand awareness in different countries, such an approach will be sure to expand your products’ reach.

Translating websites and social media content:

The food and drink industry has shifted dramatically over the course of the past decade, having to incorporate sophisticated technology into their online presence. And with so much brand exposure coming via the internet and social media, confectionery companies are investing in the translation of their content when exporting overseas, tailoring their websites and social pages to defined target audiences.

Brexit and the future of British chocolate exports

Though in a time where the conditions of international trade are uncertain, chocolate exports have soared, having grown substantially in Q3 of last year as a result of the weakening of the Pound.

Food and Drink Federation (FDF) says:

‘Growth is likely due to the strong reputation of UK food and drink manufacturers abroad, promotional efforts by Great British Food Unit and Food and Drink Export Association, and growing competitiveness oversees as a result of the falling of the pound’.  

Following an FDF survey, 70% of those asked thought confectionery export would not be affected by the Leave vote, with many brands and governing bodies excited to see what the future holds for the confectionery market.

If you require assistance with your sweet export strategy, be sure that we at Wolfestone can help. With a long list of professional translation services at hand, we can help plan the export of your product, giving it the best chance of international consumer adoption.  

by Ashley Norris

Sales & Marketing Executive at Wolfestone.

Ashley Norris graduated from Aberystwyth University with a First Class Honours in Film & Television Studies. Before and during his degree, Ashley became a professional writer and experienced digital marketer across several social channels, design packages and video editing software. Ashley recently expanded his role to manage clients’ accounts.

Ashley is a big fan of writing, films, music, art and his bearded sausage dog, Hudson.