Specialty Chocolate


Portal, with in house knowledge and experience in the Chocolate Industry, sought to enter this large and competitive market in the UK. The market is huge and dominated by big multi national companies and brands. Clearly a niche strategy was called for and at premium prices to maximise profitability.

 Based on industry knowledge and contacts, two separate areas were identified:

  1. Organic Chocolate
  2. Sugar free Chocolate

A search for suitable suppliers was undertaken and one candidate in each category selected. Products were developed and tested. Format chosen was Bar or Tablet which was efficient to produce. It would also allow entry into the mass market as well as the Specialty Trade. And bars were a fast growing category for premium chocolate.



Organic Chocolate

The supplier was a small artesinal company with an excellent record in high quality premium chocolate. For our product, only Venezuelan beans from a single plantation were used. Only Dark chocolate was used and 3 variants were selected. The taste had a smooth well rounded profile and tested very well. Packaging was simple with a hand crafted look. Organic certification was available.

The product was launched through Specialty Fine Food and Confectionery outlets and was soon in Waitrose, the premium UK quality food retailer. It was placed on the import and premium section and sold well as a specialty product.

Sugar Free Chocolate

For this product we went to Belgium and worked with one of the best known classic Belgian companies with a range of pralines and their own shops. We selected their Sugar Free range, in Milk and Dark. Again the format was a 100 gram tablet, in sophisticated packaging positioned against other premium sugar chocolate.

This was a first for the mainstream confectionery market since hitherto this category was confined to the Chemist and Drugstore trade and sold mainly to Diabetics. We sold into specialty health food stores and other premium outlets. Again we succeeded in getting into Waitrose, based on our success with the Organic specialty product. The product sold well, but the rate was slow as we had to create a new category. This existed in the USA and Germany, but was new for the UK.