With an estimated market size of Rs.15,000 crores with at a CAGR of 11.6%, not only is India one of the fastest growing markets for chocolates, there is still plenty of headroom left.
Despite Cadbury’s stellar attempts at substituting chocolate for meetha, only about 18% of Indians eat chocolate. Within the category, milk chocolate makes up the bulk, but interestingly dark chocolate is growing at a faster rate – 30% CAGR vs 6% for milk chocolate.
The big two – Cadbury and Amul – have close to 60%-70% market share, but the chocolate market is witnessing the entry of many new brands. Most of these are artisanal products, focused on the upper end of the market. Clean food brand, The Whole Truth (TWT) however, has launched a range of dark chocolate that sits squarely in the middle. Mass chocolates are priced at Rs.1 per gram, while most premium chocolates are priced at Rs. 5 per gram. TWT’s chocolate is priced at Rs. 2.50 per gram.
A Nudge in the Product Design
So far TWT has launched protein bars, peanut butter and breakfast cereals – a range typically viewed as ‘healthy food.’ How does chocolate fit into this portfolio? Founder Shashank Mehta says this is a false divide. “The person who eats a protein bar after a workout, will also reach for a piece of dark chocolate to indulge her/his craving. We are speaking to the same customer and our promise is identical: Clean options without any false claims or promises.”
In keeping with the brand’s promise of wholesome ingredients, the chocolate bars have only two ingredients: cocoa and dates. In fact, says Mehta, this is the first date-sweetened chocolate in the Indian market.
The approach that TWT has taken to the product and packaging is also unique. Instead of equal squares, the chocolate bars are divided into unequal segments that range from XS to XL because “not all cravings are created equal.”
“For too long, indulgence has been viewed as a hedonistic, all-or-nothing exercise. You either stuff yourself or you abstain. We don’t think that’s the way it should work. We believe it is possible to indulge mindfully and this is our way of building a nudge into the product itself.”Shashank Mehta, Founder, The Whole Truth
Do the unequal segments make it hard to break off the pieces? We tried it and it didn’t seem to be a problem. “That’s because the snap or the ease of breaking the bar, depends on the quality of the process and ingredients,” says Mehta. Incidentally there are other products that have unequal segments. Tony’s, a well-known Dutch, Fairtrade-certified chocolate brand follows a similar approach to remind customers of the inequality in the chocolate industry.
TWT has also done away with the customary gold foil wrapper and opted instead for a flow-wrap inside the paper carton, because “the foil crumples and makes it difficult to store the chocolate in the carton.”
The packaging and bar is designed by Mumbai-based Thought Over Design (TOD). Says Anushka Sani, Founder, TOD, “We wanted the bar itself to delight someone who opened it up while being functional as well. TWT as a brand uses every opportunity to start a relevant conversation, we wanted to ensure the bar was no different.”
Committed to Scale
Instead of going the contract manufacturing route adopted by many emerging brands, TWT has set up their own chocolate manufacturing facilities so they control the bean-to-bar process.
Says Mehta, “There is no way to create a unique, world-beating product, without having complete control over the R&D and manufacturing.”