For more than a decade, the Equiori chocolate brand has delighted consumers with its taste. Today it seeks to conquer palates in the United States and Poland, in addition to consolidating its presence in the HoReCa channel. Mariana Ehrensberg, manager of the company, talks about projections and how it went through this first quarter.
How was the brand born?
Equiori was born in 2012 and since its inception its focus has been on working towards making a difference in the Colombian countryside through products such as cocoa. Hence the company’s focus in recent years has been to introduce quality products from national producers. We currently have our presence across the national territory and in several countries.
The brand name, Equiory, is a combination of the words equity and root. And we understand the need to generate opportunities as equity and the use of organic and Colombian products as origins.
How many products are there in your portfolio?
We have about 30 different ones. We have chocolate tablets, chocolate bars which range from 60% to 100% cocoa content, we have dehydrated organic fruits which are included in chocolate, we launched this category last year with an aim to be present in the snacks market. We also have products that can be used in preparations, focused on the HoReCa channel, a sector that includes hotels, restaurants and cafes. One of our bets this year is to grow into the Horeca channel with products like cocoa powder, cocoa butter, etc.
How did the brand perform in this first quarter?
The country has grown by 48% in this first quarter, which has shown a lot of positive results. Here we are focusing on developing HORECA channel, modern channel and traditional channel which is very important for us. We also have a good growth overseas, we are working with private brands in Switzerland. With the Equiori brand we reach Japan, Romania, Germany, France. And we continue to develop new markets, which is part of the challenge. Undoubtedly, we have a very significant growth trajectory this year.
Which markets do you hope to reach?
We have plans to reach Poland with the Equiori brand and for this we are working with a partner in Europe. We are also aiming to reach the United States with a private label, we know it is a very interesting market for us. Additionally, we are looking for other business opportunities in Europe, Central America and Panama.
How many cocoa farmers are you working with?
We are with various associations and have worked with 350 families during the entire process. Of this group, 160 have certified organic products. Of course, having this guarantee is a huge challenge that we face, we are working to have a good quality cocoa and that is cultivated under good organic practices. Thanks to this type of certification, we can reach new markets and consumers looking for natural products.
How would you describe the Equity consumer?
The Equiori consumer is someone who is open to trying new products and who wants to support local industry. Likewise, this is a customer looking for quality and healthy products. We try to be candid with our customers and we always inform about the materials we use in all our processes.
What are your hopes for this year?
We are optimistic and we are launching this 2023 with a very ambitious growth plan and we are on the right track. Although there is a lot of uncertainty in the market and there are major challenges, such as raw material costs, we expect a good performance.
We have just launched, 60% Coconut Milk Chocolate. This is the first time we have dared to use a different material giving this product a completely different sensory profile. We look forward to a good reception with this product.
New chocolate with coconut milk, 60% cocoa
Equiori recently announced the launch of its new semi-sweet chocolate with 60% cocoa content and coconut drink., This vegetarian, lactose-free meal with organic ingredients is an ideal choice for those looking for A delicious taste, no animal ingredients, and a healthy option.
“The chocolate market for direct consumption in Colombia has been mostly milk chocolate; Sweet and with a low cocoa content. For this reason, we saw an opportunity to create an organic, vegan version with a lower sugar content and higher cocoa content; A variant that would be similar in taste and creamy texture characteristics to typical milk chocolate and would be in line with new market and consumer trends,” he added. Johanna Verdugo, the company’s marketing and sales coordinator.