Chocolate has become symbol of love, affection and a gift for child, young and the old. Though the taste is bitter but it gives sweetness to both the person who is consuming and the person who is gifting. Chocolate is coming in bars, balls and handmade pieces also. The basic content is the cocoa, which is just like cash crop for the farmers.
Cocoa, according to health professionals, is a rich source of anti-oxidants, iron, calcium and other minerals besides its ‘bitter’ taste. Amul now plans to launch 100 percent cocoa chocolate setting the new rules of the chocolate industry.
It’s a ‘dark revolution’ for the dairy cooperative major, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF), as it aggressively expands its chocolate vertical by making high cocoa-content chocolate variants under its ‘Single Origin Dark Chocolates’.
According to Shri R S Sodhi, Managing Director, GCMMF, the aim is to upgrade the existing chocolate consumers from sugar-rich to cocoa-rich experience. We are the only player to have cocoa content of upto 75 percent in our dark chocolates. Soon, we will be launching chocolates with 90 percent cocoa-content and going upto 100 percent. Amul chocolates have created a new niche in the chocolate industry.
Amul has invested Rs 300 crore to upgrade its chocolate facility at Mogar on National Highway-8 near Anand from 200 tonnes per month to 1000 tonnes with an excess room for doubling the capacity at the same premises. From the current turnover of barely Rs 150 crore from chocolates, Amul looks to touch Rs 1000 crore turnover by 2020 as awareness and acceptance rises for the dark-chocolates.
Shri Sodhi further added that "This will mean more money to farmers. Higher earnings of GCMMF will be ultimately distributed among the farmers. This way, we are redefining the Amul brand with more inclusive portfolio and premium offerings in line with the pure and natural image of the brand."
“We are currently procuring from the vendors in these countries but once we reach a large volumes we may explore looking at cooperatives of these respective countries to procure cocoa. This will benefit cocoa farmers in those countries,” said Sodhi
In 1973, Amul forayed into chocolates to supply chocolate for its ice-cream variants. Later, Amul Chocolates were launched with tagline -
A gift for someone you love- to the consumers. For decades chocolates failed to get attention in the milk-dominated operations of the Federation.
But in mid-2016, Amul revamped its chocolate branding and introduced dark chocolate in different varieties. "The response is overwhelming from across the country. The cocoa that we source from different origin countries of equatorial region have different taste and aroma and gives a different connect with Brand Amul," said Sodhi.
Amul is currently sourcing cocoa from seven countries including Tanzania, Venezuela, Peru, Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Ecuador and Columbia and offers a range of dark chocolates from these origins.