ArmInfo. Belgian chocolate is considered one of the best in the world, and Belgium is called the absolute world leader in its production. Annual volume of chocolate produced by Belgians exceeds 170 thousand tons. And in terms of the number of citizens who adore chocolate, Belgium firmly ranks first in the world - over 40% of total production falls on domestic consumption. The amazing taste of Belgian chocolate can be justified by the content of cocoa butter in the composition and in comparison with foreign analogues a high percentage of cocoa. Today in Belgium there are over three hundred manufacturers of the chocolate industry. Armenia cannot boast of such an ancient history of chocolate production and the number of manufacturers, which today there are only nine in the country. However, the technology of making chocolate has similar traditions with Belgian chocolates. In a conversation with ArmInfo correspondent, Deputy director of JSC Arkolad Lida Devedzhyan shared the secrets of the production of domestic chocolate and the formula for successful management. To prepare chocolate, as Ms. Devedjian noted, the company supplies production chocolate from Belgium, which is processed at the factory Arkolad. Belgians also import cocoa beans from Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana to produce their chocolate, accounting for about 50% of world production. "Processing is in fact a very important stage in the production, during which the chocolate is given a corresponding shine and inherent softness," she said. As a result, Arkolad can boast of the content of cocoa butter in the composition of chocolate, which is the tradition of exclusively Belgian chocolate factories.
Arkolad, according to the deputy director of the company, is represented by a wide range of chocolate products for every taste. But the initial popularity at the start of activity (in 2005), as Devedzhyan noted, Arkolad acquired thanks to its "coffee beans". Now the production includes a wide range of dark, milk chocolate; Chocolate products with various creams, in particular coffee, champagne cream, kuatro cream; More than 20 types of chocolate products, including truffles (hand-made) dried fruits (apricot, peach, plum) with walnuts and marzipan in chocolate, etc.
The group of Armenian chocolates managed to make the main thing - to overcome the lack of experience in the first years of the Arcolad activity. Only once did the company feel that chocolate is a product for cheerful people and a kind of indicator of happiness. In the difficult for Armenia period of the April war in 2016, Lida noted, sales of chocolate fell sharply. However, now the sales volumes have recovered and this indicates that we once again believed in our strength.
Talking about today's sales directions, Devedjian noted that the main realization of Armenian chocolate is carried out in the domestic market. However, buyers usually come from tourists who are already familiar with the brand, with the taste of "Arkolad", including Russians, Iranians, Filipinos, Chinese, Spaniards, etc. "In those countries where there is a culture of chocolate, our Chocolate>, she stressed. Concerning deliveries to foreign markets, Ms. Devedzhyan noted that some of the production is still exported. The main sales market is Russia, but orders from Belarus and even "chocolate" Switzerland are regularly received. In the US and France, there are also consumers of Arkolada. What is noteworthy is the fact that Arkolad is supplied by air transport. "The question is not only in the expansion of markets, the question in logistics. We cannot transport our chocolate wagons. For deliveries the company resorts to air transportation services, which significantly increases costs. But land transportation of such a "gentle" product is dangerous, as there are no guarantees that it will reach the place on time and will not deteriorate, "she explained.
Speaking about the competition in Armenian market, Devedzhyan noted: Arkolad is already a well- established brand in the domestic market - we are known and loved. "The key to this success, in my opinion, is the company's approach to the implementation of its activities, in particular, in the constant maintenance of high-quality production. We are not afraid of competition; on the contrary, we are only happy about it. After all, in the end, the market will remain the one who will be able to prove its right to be called a quality product, "the expert concluded.
To note, Arkolad JSC was founded in 2004. The priority direction of production is the combination of Armenian dried fruits with real chocolate. On average, the annual volume of chocolate production is 40 tons. Annually the company increases volumes by 7-8%.