Economy, Business And Markets

Sweet, Creamy Investment!

Sweet, Creamy Investment!
Sweet, Creamy Investment!

Chocolate, the shared love of almost all people, has now turned into an incredibly popular food product that millions indulge in everyday for its unique, rich, and sweet taste. It has found its way into the food basket of 96% of people living overseas. But where do Iranians stand with it?

For unknown reasons, this delicious treat does not enjoy a great popularity among Iranians. Per capita consumption of chocolate in Iran is by far lower than that of Europe and the US. Each Iranian eats 3 kilograms of chocolate a year whereas the figure is in the neighborhood of 10 kilograms for Europeans and Americans. Around 1.5 million tons of domestically-made chocolate were consumed in the country in the past Iranian year (ended March 20, 2015). Also, 12% of the total chocolate made in Iran head to other countries, Forsat-e Emrooz daily reports.  

Chocolate production in Iran dates back to 60 years. Figures show that Iran is home to 400 registered companies that are active members of the Association of Iranian Confectionary Manufacturing Companies. They are mostly located in Tabriz, East Azarbaijan Province–the so-called chocolate capital of the country. Iran accounts for 5% of the Middle East and Central Asia’s $10 billion chocolate market, which can rise to 20% given its untapped potential.

Individually portioned chocolates by 55% beat chocolate bags (35%) and bar chocolates (25%) to stand as the first choice of Iranians among the chocolate products. Aidin chocolates have the lion’s share of Iran’s chocolate market, accounting for 27% of consumer market followed by Shirin Asal (17%), Farmand and Anata (each 14%), Shokopars (13%), Chichak (10%), and Aysuda and Minoo (each 9%), a report by Iran Economy Online shows.

The amount of capital investment in chocolate production sector is highly dependent on the type and quality of the product and the raw materials used.

“The raw materials of our chocolates are milk powder, sugar, cacao, cocoa powder, hazelnuts and almonds. All of them, except cocoa powder, are easily available within the country. Iranian or foreign mixing and packaging machines are also to be found in abundance,” said a player of the field. “The broad variety of chocolate products makes it easy to have different target markets but unfortunately Iranians have not developed the habit of chocolate consumption whereas in other countries chocolate is a permanent fixture of all ceremonies. Chocolate and confectionary festivals have been a great help in building global chocolate consumption culture.”

Tehran’s International Permanent Fairgrounds will host the 14th edition of Iran International Confectionary Fair on September 14-17. Some 400 domestic and 40 foreign companies will take part in the event.