(MENAFN- Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) By Nawab Khan
BRUSSELS, March 4 (KUNA) -- European chocolate companies are keen on expanding their businesses to the Gulf region seen as a growing market for chocolate products.
"We now want to go to the Gulf to present our show and also in Kuwait. Gulf citizens are travelling a lot abroad to destinations like Paris, London, Belgium where they have developed a taste for chocolate," Sylvie Douce told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).
She is the founder of "The Salon du Chocolat (Chocolate fair)" said to be the worldآ's largest event dedicated to chocolate and cocoa.
It has organised this weekend the annual Brussels Chocolate Fair which began on Friday and ends today (Sunday). It is the 5th time that the chocolate fair is being held in the capital city of Belgium known for the fine quality of its chocolate.
130 companies are participating in the fair taking place under the theme: Chocolate & Cocoa: the Great Adventure" to celebrate the latest chocolate trends.
The Brussels fair will be honoured through the presence of the South American country Peru, a producing country recognised for the quality and diversity of its cocoa trees.
The public are shown the many stages of processing cocoa into chocolate through the reconstruction of production by chefs who line up on the Pastry Show podium to present their best chocolate recipes.
Douce, of French-Swiss origin, said together with Francois Jeantet, they started this chocolate show 23 years ago in Paris and every year they organize 18 shows around the world.
"If I have the opportunity, I am ready to expand our show in the Gulf region," she said.
She noted that Belgium has the most important and oldest chocolate industry and Belgian chocolate companies are everywhere in the world and their chocolate craftsmen are also very experienced and credible.
The biggest cocoa bean producers are Ivory Coast and Ghana, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Peru and Indonesia.
The most important chocolate consumers are the US because of their large population and in Europe Switzerland, Germany, Norway, France and Belgium.
On her part, Valerie Trolet, commercial sales manager of chocolate company Boissier Paris, told KUNA, that this company was formed in 1827.
They have representative offices in Dubai and Oman which is a big market, she said and expressed her interest in gaining a foothold in Kuwait also.
She noted that their chocolate products that are distributed in the Arab world are made by hand and are free of any alcohol or animal gelatine.
According to chocolate industry statistics, Global Chocolate Market was worth USD 98.3 billion in 2016. The market in Asia is driving sales and is expected to hold a 20 percent share of the global market in 2016. (end) nk.mt
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