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Emerging trend on the food market : raw chocolate

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Among the 200+ exhibitors of the Gourmet Food&Wine fair in Paris on Sept 23rd and 24th 2013, our attention was caught by Rrraw, startup launched by Frédéric Marr to exploit the raw chocolate market trend.

After having sold his previous company in 2005 Frédéric founded Nutrivitalité.fr and got interested the nutritional properties of chocolate. His idea was to work on the process-side to keep “all the good things” chocolate has to propose with a maximum of pleasure. Raw cocoa beans are indeed not very pleasurable to eat. Frédéric let me try raw beans processed by him and the difference is spectacular.

Low-temperature processes

Besides a selection of the beans in their country of origin and traditional fermentation methods, Frédéric explained that the product differentiation is based on the fact that beans are not roasted in his process. Whereas the usual conching process is performed at +/-80C during 2-3 days, the beans used by Rrraw undergo a simple drying process at temperatures of 40°C during less than 20 hours. After that the beans are finely grounded with a grindstone.

Three products in the portfolio

A range of three products has been developed for the end consumers : traditional chocolate bars (in a format that resembles what Zaabar launched a few years ago), raw beans covered by a layer of chocolate, and cubes mimicking chocolate truffles. The most astonishing product remains in my opinion the bean and its layer of chocolate.

Advice for your marketing strategy

The example of Rrraw is interesting because this startup is based on an emerging trend (also exploited by others like Alain Ducasse in his Atelier du Chocolat near Bastille). It also combines an innovative process with an excellent packaging.

Emerging trends are important to detect upfront: they allow to launch new products (obviously) but also to renew a product range and foster loyalty among customers. Although many customers consume by habit and have long-lasting consumption patterns, market research assignments we’ve carried out in the past show that an increasing number of consumers are keen on variety and are looking for novelties. No innovation can soon become a reason to witch for those consumers and it’s therefore crucial, if you want to remain alive on the market, to offer them the possibility to try something new.



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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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