Godiva chocolates for the lunar new year. - Godiva/AFP
Chinese still prefer salty and savoury to sweet.
THOUGH Chinese consumers are known for lacking a sweet tooth, premium chocolate makers are hoping to cash in on the tradition of gift giving over the lunar new year with a slew of limited edition, commemorative gift sets.
The Chinese may have enthusiastically taken up Western food trends like coffee, wine, and fast food over the past decades, but chocolate has failed to make significant inroads, given a palate that prefers salty and savoury flavours over sweet.
According to figures out of global research firm Euromonitor, the average Chinese eats a modest 100g of chocolate a year – or the equivalent of two chocolate bars.
By comparison, the per capita consumption in Switzerland averaged 12kg in 2012.
But where chocolate brands hope to endear themselves to the middle class Chinese market is by pitching the confectionery as a premium product ideal for gift giving, particularly during the biggest holiday of the Asian calendar, lunar new year.
Over at Godiva, chocolatiers have created a trio of new flavours for the holiday including dark caramel pear, milk cherry almond and white pineapple Macadamia.
The 32-piece chocolate gift set is US$120 (RM400) while the 20-piece gift set retails for US$50 (RM167). Both come with red envelopes.
Neuhaus has also launched a limited edition year of the horse gift box for US$30 (RM100) that houses 16 bonbons, while La Maison du Chocolat has assembled a special trio of red and gold-ribboned gift boxes including hat boxes for the occasion.
And for small, handout treats, Purdys Chocolatier has created solid milk chocolate medallions which are individually wrapped in a red and gold Chinese new year motif.
For a chocolate alternative, Laduree boutiques at airports across Asia like Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, as well as Paris and Australia, will offer a limited edition gift box to house the brand’s iconic macarons. The burgundy boxes are emblazoned with gold horseshoes. – AFP Relaxnews