Rising per capita expenditure, youth population, and seasonal events have triggered growing demand for chocolate in the Middle East and East Asia markets.
The world’s largest and fastest growing chocolate café, dipndip, has officially opened its 100th cafe, further cementing its global positioning – a move geared towards cushioning the runaway demand for their desserts and chocolate experience coupled with the growing demand for confectionary items.
The Lebanon outlet, which will open its doors to the public November 15, 2017 comes against a backdrop of increased chocolate consumption in the world and more specifically the MENA region with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) emerging as the fastest growing chocolate markets.
A Euromonitor International report indicates that Saudi Arabia’s chocolate products constitute over 55 percent of the confectionary market. It also found out that the market is expected to hit the US$2.26 billion mark by 2018.
UAE’s chocolate market is poised to grow at a compound annual growth rate of about eight percent by the year 2021; this is according to a report by TechSci Research. This will mainly be driven by a demand for premium chocolate and specifically that of dark chocolate, the report highlighted.
With global cocoa prices expected to remain flat until Q1 2018 international cocoa markets, including the US and Europe will continue to remain strong.
While making the announcement, dipndip’s CEO Emad Tinawi noted that increased investment in new and prime located outlets is a strategy that dipndip is committed to continue pursuing in order to position itself as the chocolate café of choice.
And with many countries in East Asia experiencing a surge in their annual chocolate consumption, driven by its rising middle class and purchasing power, Tinawi’s confident that the Asian market is the company’s next big growth potential.
“Plans are at an advanced stage to also expand our operations in East Asia – a strategic market with great potential for our unique chocolate experience and one that also promises a great return on investment in the populous region.” Said Tinawi.
From less than 20 cafes outlets in 2014 to 100 cafés in 2017 so far, dipndip plans to boost its regional and international presence from 16 countries to 20 by the end of 2018. Emad attributes the chocolate café’s growing popularity and continued success to its strength of the brand – its focus on using premium chocolate and fresh ingredients, creating original desserts and the overall customer experience. Tinawi believes that dipndip’s innovative spirit and strive to keep its customers (and competition) on its toes for what dipndip will come up with next is at the core of what makes dipndip brand continue to grow.
“Just because we are number one, doesn’t mean we will settle. We continue to push on making dipndip the best chocolate experience there is and always keep our loyal customers excited for what comes next. We are always looking for new ways to attract guests at every part of the day. For example, we are in the middle of piloting a breakfast menu specifically made for the morning hours, a menu that includes savory items which is a first for dipndip.”
dipndip plans to set up its Asia regional office in Indonesia by Q2 of 2018, which will also support all current and future East Asian chocolate cafés. This regional hub will also act as its launch pad into China’s broadly underdeveloped snacking culture by the end of 2018.
As part of its network expansion plan, dipndip chocolate cafés will by mid-2018 roll out its new-look stores complete with a revamped menu and other soon to be announced experiences.
dipndip also will be rolling out its revamped website and mobile application by the end of the year, both of which will have online delivery functionality in an effort to make it easier for guests to experience dipndip in their own homes as well as accelerate the growth of its customer profile database Tinawi said, “While we have exceptional items that our guests love, it isn’t enough. We strive to make sure that every single part of the dipndip experience makes our guests smile. This forces us to continue to review every customer touchpoint, whether it’s the designs of our cafes, our service standards, our online experience, and even the locations of our cafes. The data we get from the technology platforms we are rolling out will help us get a better understanding of who our guests are and what they want, allowing us to create improved and more tailored experiences for them rapidly.”