Highland Chocolatier takes high road to success

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Product management, New product development, Middle east

Chocolate hungry consumers have prompted Highland Chocolatier to invest £200,000 in quadrupling the size of its production area
Chocolate hungry consumers have prompted Highland Chocolatier to invest £200,000 in quadrupling the size of its production area
Chocolate manufacturer Highland Chocolatier is investing £200,000 in quadrupling the size of its production area in a bid to expand capacity to meet rapidly rising demand.

Julie Collier, the firm’s development director, which is based in Highland Perthshire at tourist venue Legends of Grandtully and incorporates The Scottish Chocolate Centre, said it had grown by 45% in four years.

It expects to achieve strong growth of about 30% in the current financial year, which ends on March 30, 2012.

Responding to how much the cash injection would boost capacity, Collier told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “Hugely, as we are virtually at capacity at present with space and that is holding us back to develop.

Growth strategy

“This is a 5-10 year plan, but it opens up more avenues for us that previously we would have held back on and we can now expand our team and employ more people. With what has just come on board in the past three months, the forecast is looking quite healthy.”

The Highland Chocolatier brand was launched more than five years ago and specialises in truffles and pralines. It supplies premium, indulgent products for high-end customers, such as Michelin-starred restaurants, five star hotels and Edinburgh’s Harvey Nichols.

However, part of its growth in the past few months has come from exports to countries and regions such as Japan, the Middle East and Germany. It is also exploring markets in China and the US.

Premium still popular

“Although the country is in recession, the quality of what we produce is just not affected because at times like this, the consumer treats themselves to high quality produce,”​ said company founder Iain Burnett. “Entertaining at home has never been more popular and delivering great quality to your guests is so important.

“The unique concept of what we have created in Scotland, let alone the UK, with a truly exciting product portfolio and the addition of The Scottish Chocolate Centre gives us an unrivalled position in the gourmet marketplace.”

Collier said Burnett now aimed to devote more focus on chocolate growth and development and would relinquish some of his responsibilities in other areas. As a result, the company aimed to take on more staff to cover these areas. “This will certainly help to increase the growth of ​NPD [new product development] and we are looking at some very interesting markets ... watch this space!”

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1 comment

Perthshire Food Investment

Posted by Jeremy Dixon,

It's good to see investment in quality food production in Perthshire. It's great for job prospects.
You're chocolates are the best I have ever tasted. I hope the investment reaps good rewards.

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