Who doesn’t love chocolates? Chocolate has always been widely accepted and appreciated by people throughout the world, regardless of age or social status. Trend watching firms around the world have named chocolate as one of the top 10 globally exploding trends. In a very short while, the status of chocolate in India, has gone from ‘once in a while’ to a ‘must have’ on the shopping list. Awareness about the extraordinary health benefits of chocolate (especially dark chocolate) has finally dawned on the Indian consumer and there has never been a better time to start a chocolate making business, than now. It is always a good idea to start small and test the market for your creations before venturing into commercial production, so here we will briefly look into a home based start up making chocolates.
The homemade chocolate industry is finding appreciation at a phenomenal rate. The Indian market has been named in a recent survey as the fastest growing space in consumption of chocolate by adults. Homemade chocolate treats are being chosen over traditional Indian sweets because of its exotic flavours and refreshing tastes created by blending fruits, nuts and chocolates from different sources around the world. If you are a creative person who is passionate about chocolate, then this could be your path to a very successful and satisfying business. Like any other business some research and a good understanding of the market is needed before you begin.
Starting a home-based chocolate making business is not difficult at all and it does not need heavy capital either, but it definitely requires creativity, organizing skills, a bit of marketing tact and inbuilt perseverance. If these traits describe you, then you can generate satisfaction, goodwill and great profit, by starting a homemade chocolate business from your kitchen.
Nowadays all raw materials needed for this venture are available easily due to the open-market policies. Blending your own flavour of chocolate can be highly rewarding as it will create your niche and can make your venture take off on high note within a very short time.
Always remember that chocolate making is an art and uniqueness of taste is the key to success in the chocolate business. Previous experience is greatly appreciated in this industry. It is a great idea for entrepreneurs to participate in a few chocolate making classes and workshops to get the feel of the machines, moulds and materials used. This will also keep you updated about market policies, publicity, client dealings, packaging and more.
Get your equipment and supplies in place. Do some price research before you buy the supplies. Remember that making chocolate treats for visiting friends is very different from preparing 25kgs for sale. Necessary generic tools for your venture include an oven, a grinder, baking sheets, moulds and tin foil apart from basic kitchen utensils. Chocolate making demands the right temperatures and perfect timing as chocolate tends to burn easily. Raw ingredients and finished chocolate will need to be stored between 18 to 20 degree Celsius. This could mean special utensils, cabinets or an additional air conditioner.
Pay close attention to the packaging. An unbeatable taste in a trendy package is a sure path to success.
The ingredients you will require to be familiar with are cocoa powder, milk powder, butter, sugar and water for simple creations in the beginning. As you progress you can experiment with a various flavours and essences like cinnamon, vanilla, orange, strawberry and many more. Raisins, even berries and a variety of nuts like almonds, pistachios, pecans and cashews can be explored to find some truly exhilarating tastes that leave a person wanting for more. Your creations will include cakes, candies, sweets, pastries, desserts and more.
Cast your own creations and Distribute samples
A fantastic variety of chocolate recipes can be found on the internet which can help you find your own favorites for production. Dive into your passion and spend time experimenting with textures and tastes. There are an infinite number of awesome tastes waiting to be found and relished so aim to be exquisite and exotic. Be bold and exotic in your creations and hone in on a few tastes and combinations that hold promise. Give your business and your products, trendy and memorable names. Prepare a demonstration batch and offer samples of your creations to everyone around you including friends and family. Use their feedback to finalize your product line. Holding a chocolate tasting parties at different friends’ place is a productive idea as it brings great publicity.
Pricing, Retail approach and Advertising
Determine the right price for your products after calculating the investment for materials, effort and the required publicity. Be extremely competitive in this regard. There are several ways to expose your chocolate creations to the retail market. The success of any product is directly proportionate to the amount of advertising it is subject to. Use direct mailers, posters and fliers to help you find your target market. Create your own business page on Facebook, complete with pictures and prices of your products. Advertising through newspapers and TV channels can be expensive, but can be considered later.
Apart from sales from home (friends and family), you can put up dedicated sales kiosks catering directly to the consumer, wherever possible. Create an attractive two-in-one or three-in-one package highlighting varieties of your product and visit clubs and beauty salons. You can approach specialty retailers to sell your products at their sales outlets. You can also approach hotels, cafes, charity groups, schools, colleges, professional offices, BPOs and real estate agencies with free samples and product for sale. Identify festivals, birthdays and other occasions throughout the year, which can be graced with your exquisite chocolate offerings and note down ways you can promote your creations at these events.
One of the most important requirements for a chocolate business today would be an up-to-date website where consumers can order your products. A website may look unimportant during the initial stages, mainly due to order-delivery issues, but rest assured that as the business matures, the website will prove to be a great avenue for online orders. A website sets you apart as a serious player in the market and lends credibility to your business and its products. Make sure you register your exotic products with online market giants like Ebay, Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal.
Register at the earliest
Register your business at the ROC and secure the brand names of your creations with a ‘Trade Mark’ at the earliest. As you are dealing with food products, permission from FSSAI (Food Safety And Standards Authority Of India) is mandatory, apart from a trade license from the local authority. Sales tax registration is also needed. It is a wise move to check with a competent advocate as to what other permissions are needed.
The profit making potential of this business is enormous as chocolate making is recession-proof and is something that will never fall out of popularity. The occaisions that demand the presence of chocolate is growing and there are infinite opportunities for entrepreneurs with divine chocolate creations to hit the high road from week one itself.