Farmer-owned Fairtrade company Divine Chocolate announces new exports

The company has expanded its offerings at UK retailers Waitrose and BP Connect and is extending its reach in Turkey and the US

Divine Chocolate, the premium Fairtrade and farmer-owned chocolate company, is announcing new listings in the UK, US and export territories, in line with its expanding export strategy.

In the UK, the company has secured new product listings with existing customers Waitrose and BP Connect, and in the US a new listing with Walgreens.

Divine is focusing on growing its export market with a new Turkish export customer, involvement in The British Bid Global Initiative and was named best ‘emerging brand’ at The Sunday Times Lloyds SME Export Track 100 awards in May 2017.

It has also recently appointed Chris Noel as sales director as part of its plan for “aggressive growth”.

Last month, the UK sales push saw Waitrose add several lines to its Divine Chocolate range, including the Divine Chocolate Tasting Set, a book-style sharing product with 12 individually wrapped little bars in six flavours.

The Tasting Set launched in 2016 and is the brand’s biggest innovation in three years, targeting customers for informal sharing and gifting occasions.

Waitrose is also adding 100g bars of Dark Chocolate with Pink Himalayan Salt, Dark Chocolate with Almond and Raisin, and Dark Chocolate Mint Thins, designed for social sharing.

BP Connect is adding three 100g sharing bars; Dark Chocolate with Ginger & Orange, Dark Chocolate with Pink Himalayan Salt and Milk Chocolate with Toffee and Sea Salt.

In May, food service distributor DDC Foods added the full range of Divine Chocolate impulse bars, including palm oil free dark or milk chocolate caramel and the new Cappuccino bar, made with Cafedirect Machu Picchu coffee, to its offering.

Overseas, Divine Chocolate USA has recently secured listings in national drugstore chain Walgreens, with 1,150 outlets stocking Divine Milk Chocolate with Toffee and Sea Salt, Divine 85% Dark Chocolate and Dark Chocolate with Mint.

Troy Pearley, vice president of sales at Divine USA, said: ‘While we still have work to do, consumers and retailers across the US are becoming more familiar with the Divine Chocolate brand outside of the Natural Channel and we’re confident this listing in Walgreens will help introduce more chocolate lovers to the Divine brand.’

Demand for premium chocolate is growing around the world and Divine hopes its mix of flavours, ethical credentials and brand story will “win hearts as well as minds” with an “exciting alternative”.

Divine Chocolate currently works with export customers across Europe, Asia and Australia, and is considering expansion into further territories including Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Russia and the UAE.

Recently Divine has secured Alara Global as a new customer in Turkey. Alara will be distributing the sharing bar range, Dark Chocolate Mint Thins and Dark Chocolate Ginger Thins, Divine Cocoa Powder and Drinking Chocolate into Duty Free outlets at airports, marinas and country border points.

Charlotte Green, marketing director at Divine, said “As part of the Divine five-year strategy, Growing Business Differently, we are looking to expand our customer base. We already work with a number of distributors outside the UK and USA, so we want to grow with them, as well as working with new distributors to target new territories, particularly in Asia and the Middle East.”

Divine Chocolate has been recognised for its growing export success; in May 2017 it was named best emerging brand at The Sunday Times Lloyds SME Export Track 100 awards ceremony, after being ranked at number 17 of Britain’s 100 SMEs with the fastest growing overseas sales by Sunday Times Fast Track in February 2017.

In June 2017 Divine will be featured as part of The British Bid, a global initiative designed to demonstrate the best in British business, flying the flag of British excellence and, ultimately, generating new growth via overseas trade. A short film about Divine Chocolate will be shown on BBC Worldwide, alongside four other British companies.