The FINANCIAL — While the economical crisis is influencing famous chocolate producing companies around the globe, Georgian LTD Rosali Sambar isn’t going to reduce the prices of its products.
“The prices we offer to our customers are quite acceptable. We aren’t going to reduce the prices on products. The costs of the same chocolates in Belgium, more so in Switzerland, are significantly higher,” Tsisana Mchedlishvili Nahas, Director of Chocoswiss Rosali Sambar, told The FINANCIAL.
World cocoa prices have been falling to between 1,250 and 1,450 pounds sterling per tonne this year on good harvests from the Ivory Coast and Ghana, Reuters reported.
Chocoswiss Rosali Sambar Ltd. Georgia is the first chocolate decorating company in Georgia that offers high quality real Swiss chocolate from Belgium. Its style of packaging is a mix of Oriental, European and Caucasian cultures.
“We’ve been offering our customers real Swedish chocolate from Belgium for five years already. Cocoa beans that arrive to us have the trade mark of world famous Swiss chocolate producing company Barry Collebaut,” Tsisana Mchedlishvili Nahas says.
“Barry Callebaut has three of the biggest factories in the world in Belgium, France and Switzerland. Our supplier is Belgium. We buy packaging, decorating materials, paper labels and gift boxes from Italy. We pour the melted chocolate into shape givers. After taking the chocolate out, we keep it in a special refrigerator that we bought from Belgium,” Tsisana Mchedlishvili Nahas says.
According to Barry Callebaut, with annual sales of more than CHF (Swiss franc) 4.8 billion for the fiscal year 2007/08, the Zurich-based company is present in 26 countries, operates about 40 production facilities and employs more than 7,000 people.
Rosali Sambar’s staff figure is 15, but the director herself does the decoration of chocolates in order to avoid any accidents. “I completed special chocolate learning courses in Belgium and so personally control the processes involved with blending, shaping and decorating the chocolate,” says the head of Rosali Sambar.
Tsisana Mchedlishvili Nahas decorates the chocolates herself.
“We put the chocolate into a special machine. It stars to melt at 40 degrees and then should come down to 32 degrees where the process of stabilization starts. Cocoa fat appears on the surface. We add chocolate beans before the temperature falls to the degree needed for pouring it out. So the cocoa fat and chocolate are mixed together. And that’s the secret of making the chocolate,” Tsisana Mchedlishvili Nahas declares.
“Every year we attend laboratory monitoring. We have signed a treaty with the Phytosanitary measure service. We have no competitors on the Georgian market, not even in many European countries. Chocolate decoration isn’t very widespread and we are the first company in Georgia doing this business,” Mchedlishvili Nahas declares.
According to the website chocosphere.com a 3-pack of 50g (150g/5.3oz total) of Callebaut Bittersweet Dark Chocolate bars, costs USD 29.60.
Callebaut Milk with Hazelnuts (Hazelnoten-Noisettes) contains two individually wrapped 200g (400g/14oz total) Callebaut Milk Chocolate bars with Whole Hazelnuts, 30% Cocoa. Price USD 14.95 Single Bar. Price USD 67.25 5-Pack.
“The prices of gift arrangement chocolates start from GEL 15 and reach a maximum of GEL 60. People can buy Rosali Sambar chocolate in the big Georgian supermarkets Big-Ben, Goodwill and Continental,” Mchedlishvili Nahas told The FINANCIAL.
In accordance with Belgianfinechocolate.com, the price of gift arrangements for Chocolate Suitcase is USD 325.00; Le Ballotin Classique USD 38.00; Midnight Delight USD 20.00; The Presidental Treat USD 135.00.
“We have many corporate clients. Our most frequent corporate customers are Bank Republic, TBC Bank, Ici Paris, Voulez-Vous and most of the oil producing companies. Much of the business segment are also our permanent customers. Badri Patarkatsishvili, Georgian billionaire, ordered a package of decorated chocolate for the wedding of his daughter,” the Director of Rosali Sambar says.
“People are starting to cope with the fact that it’s better to pay more money for products of high quality. We think that the figure of our customers will rise in the nearest future as more people are visiting us every day. As we need some more space, Rosali is planning to open a new branch on Marjanishvili Street,” Tsisana Mchedlishvili Nahas declares.
As the Director of Rosali Sambar told The FINANCIAL, they are planning to take the chocolate out of the country. “Rosali Sambar is preparing to export its product to Baku, Azerbaijan. We were exporting our chocolate to Baku two years ago, but because of financial problems we had to stop the trading relationship. Negotiations are taking place between us and Baku, and the date when we will start exporting our product will soon be revealed,” Mchedlishvili Nahas says.
Although the officials of Rosali Sambar have avoided naming any figures of income or their annual turnover, Tsisana Mchadlishvili Nahas claims that they get more profit from everyday sales than from selling decorated chocolate packets.
“Many decorated chocolate presents were sold abroad this New Year. We had special orders from Russia and Belgium, also from some foreign organizations. The number of products sold almost doubles during the festive period,” Mchedlishvili Nahas declares.
Less and less time is now left till Valentine’s Day, the festive occasion when globally the most chocolate is sold. We have special red and white heart shaped chocolates that are most in demand on this date,” Mchedlishvili Nahas says.
According to information on the website yourvalentine.net, since the days of the Aztecs chocolate has been used as a gift. Today a box of luxurious quality chocolate says a thousand “thank you”s, “good luck”s, or “I love you”s. Chocolate can be given as a way of saying “congratulations”, “I’m sorry” or “get well soon”. Even the scientific name for the tree from which chocolate is derived, Theobroma cacao, translated from Greek, means food of the gods.
As well as Rosali Sambar, on the Georgian market there is also a big sweet producing factory called Sweet Country which produces a great amount of local products.
Ana group is one of the biggest players on the Georgian market. It owns the meat producing factory Mitana and sweet producing factory Sweet Country. Sweet Country Ltd was established in 2005 and started its functioning in May 2005. Today it produces more than 50 types of confectionary products.
The Commercial Director of Sweet Country Jakob Macharashvili, denied having any information about plural data of products sold in 2008. “I have no information about how many products were sold in 2008,” Macharashvili says.
“We avoid naming the numbers of annual turnover for several reasons,” Kakha kruashvili, Sales Manager of Company Sweet Country, declares.
Unlike Georgian companies, Barry Callebaut names exact numbers and talks about the investments executed in one of its new factories in Mexico.
With an annual production capacity of around 100,000 tonnes, the new factory is Barry Callebaut’s third largest chocolate factory worldwide. The total investment amounted to approximately USD 40 million. Expansion into Mexico allows Barry Callebaut to deliver chocolate to the local Mexican market, the Southern region of the United States, and to Central and South America, the company said.
Written By Tako Khelaia