Chocolate Fortunes: The Battle for the Hearts, Minds, and Wallets of China's Consumers

Chocolate Fortunes: The Battle for the Hearts, Minds, and Wallets of China's Consumers

Lawrence L. Allen

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 081441432X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

As China comes into its own as a world economic power, a new, huge consumer class is emerging, hungry for all things Western. In this land where twenty-five years ago most of the population had never tasted chocolate, five icons of Western business are now slugging it out in a battle royal to see which will become the Emperor of Chocolate in China. Chocolate Fortunes offers the first inside look at the battle for China's newfound chocolate addiction. The book devotes individual chapters to each of the five major players Hershey, Nestle, Cadbury, Mars, and Ferrero and the trials they face as they attempt to dominate their market in an enigmatic and still-developing economy. More broadly, Chocolate Fortunes examines the unique opportunities and challenges inherent in the Chinese business universe. Probing not only the economic, political, and cultural conditions that have given rise to a seemingly insatiable new market, the book delves into the mystique of chocolate itself and how it captivates not just the Chinese, but people all over the world.

















Rocher: Accidental Hero 47 phaned, then raised by the Communist Party faithful, he became a soldier and died in a banal work accident in 1962. The Chinese Communist Party picked up the story, and through a series of propaganda campaigns that began in 1963 with ‘‘Learn from Comrade Lei Feng,’’ his image and tales of his selfless exploits in service to the people of China were relentlessly broadcast to China’s population through the statecontrolled media. As a consequence, during the 1960s and

not resonate with Chinese consumers the way Dove’s more emotional ‘‘Silky smooth taste’’ message did. One reason for this was that the Chinese were not frequent consumers of milk, making it difficult to visualize just how much milk was contained in a glass; was it a lot or a little? The image did little to help consumers identify with Cadbury chocolate or link its brand with a mystique of self-indulgence. On the retail front, with its trademark competitive zeal, Mars aggressively exploited

that its retail price was only RMB 1 ($0.15) per bar, that it would have only limited distribution, and that they would be the first ones to have it. 162 Chocolate Fortunes There was one condition, however: the distributors and stores had to pay cash-on-order (COO). Furthermore, supply of the Nestle´ Wafer would be contingent upon also paying COO for all the other Nestle´ items on the order. The reason for this last condition was that Nestle´ had historically offered credit trading terms in

breakup of the Soviet Union still more than a decade away, there was no roadmap for transitioning an economy based on Communist Party dogma to the kind of market-socialist economy Deng envisioned. China would be the first. Though Deng was a visionary, even he most likely could not have envisioned the China we know today. Although China’s modern transformation began in 1978, it unfolded in three phases over three decades. From the perspective of the Big Five chocolate companies, these phases could

is likely that chocolate consumption across China has been influenced by these taste preferences and their influence on Chinese cuisine, the low overall penetration of chocolate makes it difficult to discern any particular pattern. Ironically, in spite of such a wide variety of tastes and textures, chocolate was so foreign to the Chinese palate that the only culinary gateway into the diets of Chinese consumers was as a foreign and exotic curiosity. Therefore, to make their chocolates appealing to

Download sample