New premium chocolate brand, Fort & Cole’s, is targeting independent traders as retailers devote more space to upmarket brands.
Fort & Cole’s says Tesco now gives over 25% of chocolate tablet space to premium chocolate and consumers are trading up to this sub-category. And it’s not just the top four grocers – discounters Aldi and Lidl are giving considerable shelving space to their own premium chocolate label brands, Fort & Cole’s says.
Indicating that demand exists for premium chocolate, Fort & Cole’s said this trend has inspired it to bridge the gap in the market by producing a premium quality chocolate made from the finest beans at an attractive price to wholesalers and independents.
Founder, Jon-Paul Costoya, said: “Having connections with Ivorian smallholders, we wanted to create a premium chocolate specifically for the independent sector. Keeping independents alive is at the heart of our campaign. Fort & Cole’s is all about making premium chocolate more accessible for consumers, allowing independents to compete on quality and value.”
The range consists of three delicious different flavours where the chocolate is made from selected cocoa beans grown in Ivory Coast.
Dark and rich, one square of Fort & Cole’s 70% cocoa chocolate transports the taster to the rich and tropical rainforests sheltering the prized beans from the heat of the West African sun, the company claims. Fort & Cole’s chocolate is grown in Ivorian soil where it is primarily grown on smallholdings of just one to three hectares. This method ensures constant attention to the beans can be given, resulting in a finer chocolate.
Currently the wholesale and independent sector are not getting their share of sales within the growing category of premium chocolate, Fort & Cole’s claims. However, this is not down to a lack of consumer demand but rather the lack of a wholesale and independent sector focused brand. Fort & Cole’s said it is focused on unlocking the opportunity for the wholesale and independent sector.
Fort & Cole’s fine chocolate is poised to drive wholesale and independent retailer growth by making premium chocolate more accessible. The pricing structure and promotional strategy will ensure category penetration and increase purchase frequency. The RRSP is lower than the current leading brands and in-line with grocery supermarket premium tier own-label products.
Initially, the three flavours, each in 100g bars, reflect consumer demand from other premium chocolate brands. With a classic 70% cocoa option for the chocolate lover who loves luxury, an exotic orange dark blend for those with a penchant for opulence and a lower cocoa milk chocolate for the fan of a fast fix of flavour. Packaged in classically designed sleeves, each bar is shelf ready to let the product do the talking to consumers. Watch this space for further flavours to be developed along with seasonal purchases as the Fort & Cole’s brand grows.