Sweet times ahead for chocolate manufacturer
A Yorkshire confectionery company is thriving in Europe and beyond despite the continuing uncertainties of Brexit.
Whitakers Chocolates, the UK’s largest supplier of personalised chocolates, based in Skipton, has seen its export strategy triumph with orders from as far afield as Uruguay contributing to a 30% increase in sales compared to the same time last year.
Less than 12 months after appointing its first Sales Manager, the company has defied gloomy Brexit predictions and increased sugar taxes with a successful first half of the financial year.
Several thousand Whitakers branded chocolates have been shipped to a major distributor in Uruguay in the company’s first order to the South American country. Using an intermediate business which specialises in sales to remote countries, the British-made mint and coffee cremes will be sold on to Uruguayan independent companies and small retailers.
Whitakers Chocolates Sales Manager, Ian Webster, explains: “This is an incredibly exciting and significant order for us. We began implementing our newly-formed export strategy at the beginning of 2018 so to see it bear fruit, especially in today’s climate, is both rewarding and promising. We’ve also seen a huge 20% increase in orders to Canada which is another burgeoning market for us.”
European sales have also fared well with orders to one of France’s biggest retailers, Monoprix. Whitakers Chocolates has maintained its market share in Scandinavia despite an significant rise in sugar taxes presenting challenging trading conditions.
Despite the uncertain future between the UK and EU, Whitakers Chocolates remains buoyant with a business model which is expected to prosper over the coming months and years.
“We sell a lot of products on an ‘ex-factory’ basis so our customers can collect products directly from the factory at a preferential rate but have to deal with tariffs themselves and organise their own transport.”
Whitakers Chocolates will be further exploring new markets and countries when it attends ISM, the largest trade fair in the world for confectionery and snacks, next year in Cologne, where it will reveal new branding and launch a number of additional product ranges.
Ian adds: “This is a really exciting time at Whitakers Chocolates. We’re feeling confident about the future and expanding into more countries with a new brand and extended product line”.
Whitakers Chocolates produces 10 million chocolates each week for the hospitality, promotional and retail sectors.