Chocolate is a wholesome meals

On World Chocolate Day, BW HOTELIER presents an interaction with two entrepreneurs who offer interesting opportunities.

Not many would know that India’s chocolate market reached $ 1.9 billion in 2020 and the country is currently one of the fastest growing chocolate markets in the world. For the future, the market research company IMARC Group expects the market to grow with a CAGR of 11.3 percent in the period 2021-2026. All of this and more came to light in the India Chocolate Market: Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity, and Forecast 2021-2026 report. To contribute to this growth, entrepreneurs come up with interesting options.

On World Chocolate Day, BW HOTELIER interacts with two such entrepreneurs to deal with the chocolate business.

Rushdah Humaira, Founder, RUSHK

With the launch of RUSHK in December 2020, Rushdah Humaira became Bengal’s first chocolate maker from beans to bars. Unlike commercial chocolates, bean-to-bar chocolates do not contain any chemicals, preservatives, or artificial flavors. Humaira was already involved in chocolate production and when introducing the brand, says: “Chocolate is a healthy food. The fewer ingredients, the purer it is. Our chocolate contains no additional ingredients other than nibs, sugar and natural inclusions. “

As the pandemic stalled the momentum of most lives and businesses, Humaira shares, “RUSHK was launched in December 2020 and we are still trying to spread awareness about our brand. The pandemic is affecting small businesses, especially those in growth mode. “

Despite all the setbacks, RUSHK has received positive feedback from consumers. According to Humaira, “Chocolate is something that consumers need to be educated about, so we’re trying to do it gradually. Since this is a food product, we need to maintain hygiene around the clock, be it during the coronavirus outbreak or in a normal situation. ”The brand plans to introduce new inclusions and products in the future.

As part of their preparation for a future lockdown, Humaira said, “We have limited our production and would make sure nothing is wasted due to the third wave or in the event of a lockdown. We would make sure that the people involved in the process only work according to the safety protocols. “

She explains what sets RUSHK apart from other chocolate brands: “In chocolate production, chocolate manufacturers are involved in every step. Our chocolates are more expensive than the mass-produced chocolates, but the price guarantees better quality from high-quality ingredients and from the most transparent supply chain. “

For entrepreneurs, she says: “No work is difficult if you have a passion for it. Believe in your products and what you do. “

Vimal Sharma, Founder, Smoor

Founded in March 2015 by Vimal Sharma, Smoor is a luxury chocolate brand that opened its first flagship store in Bangalore in August 2016. With the increasing demand for healthy products due to the pandemic, the brand adapted to the trend by launching “Smoor Wellness Barks” that support the immune system. “This rind consists of 82 percent dark chocolate and is enriched with herbs such as giloy, ashwagandha, tulsi and amla. The response to this offer was encouraging, ”he says.

Regarding the impact of Covid on business, he says: “Before the pandemic, we were a stationary company. When the pandemic set in and we realized the locks and restrictions would be long term, we quickly evolved into a digitally anchored company. We have expanded our presence on food aggregator platforms. At the same time, we reached out to our customers through community outreach programs. Our Direct-to-Customer (D2C) website has been updated to offer a better and faster surfing and checkout experience. ”

All of these efforts would have ensured that Smoor achieved 80 percent sales in the first four months compared to pre-pandemic sales. Since then, their digital channels have continued to grow aggressively and have given us 10-fold growth in one year. Today Smoor is an omnichannel company with a strong offline presence through its signature lounges and stores, a D2C website that is growing by double digits month after month, and presence on major online aggregators and marketplaces such as Swiggy, Zomato, Amazon, Flipkart & BigBasket.

Chef Avijit Ghosh, Chief Product Development and Operation Officer with over 20 years of experience at the Oberoi and Leela Group, leads them to create new flavor combinations, textures and formats for chocolate, cake and macarons. About their USP, he says, “The obvious answer is the quality of our ingredients and the recipes that we work hard on. However, in my opinion, the difference is made by our team. We’re a bunch of passionate people who are committed to the brand and their customers. It’s what drives us every day and helps us achieve more, do more and innovate more, ”he says.

For future entrepreneurs, Sharma says: “It won’t be easy. You have to work hard every day as if it was the day you started your business. More importantly, you build a team that you can rely on and that run your business like their own. “

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