Chocolate Making Business: How to Start a Chocolate Business


Chocolate is made from cacao seeds that are flavored, ground and roasted. Some are manufactured using liquid, blocks or paste cacao. To get raw chocolate the seed is fermented and the beans is cleaned, roasted and dried.
Chocolate manufacturers make use of liquefied cocoa, unsweetened baked chocolate and cocoa butter. The business is done both home based or industrial scale.
To compete favorably you need to remain abreast of fast changing trends. Other considerations are scope or size of enterprise, type of chocolate, branding and marketing.
Chocolate making is serious business that requires huge funds to purchase equipment, source raw materials and product development.
How to Start a Chocolate Business
Financing the Chocolate Factory
The majority of the funds are needed for equipment purchase, raw materials and property leasing. Apart from fixed capital you need lots of product development and testing.
 Secure loans from commercial banks in your locality or a core investor. Home based chocolate makers require moderate funding so target savings should do the job.
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I, Noebse [CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons
Register the Chocolate Business
Home based entrepreneurs can register the business as a sole proprietorship. While large commercial entity could register the business as a limited liability company.
You need to obtain a trade license and insurance cover. Other considerations are value added tax and health department permits. Find out the licenses and permits peculiar to your area.
Chocolate Marketing
Despite the undeniable love for the product chocolate is not an essential commodity. The delicious snack is tailored to our cravings for sweet things and fun.
Interestingly chocolate has some health factors that increase the desirability. Chocolate buyers usually purchase the delicious snack on impulse or according to brand and popularity.
The marketing of chocolate is not only highly competitive but challenging. Big brands spend millions of dollars pushing their brands to earn a stake of the billion dollar industry.
However, small entrepreneurs could carve a niche market for their products. As a small manufacturer it is essential to produce only premium quality chocolate.
Producing substandard cheap chocolate will harm the business. Taste buds don’t lie it is easy to differentiate quality from cheap products.
Things needed to position your chocolate for profit are price, quality, advertisement and packaging. 
Sweetened Condensed Milk Business
Chocolate Combinations
Create interesting flavor combinations to feed your customers cravings and indulgence. Experiment with different types of chocolates, flavors and colors.
Create different combinations and do extensive product sampling and testing.
Product Sampling
Product sampling is an integral part of any manufacturer’s success. Offer free chocolates at venues such as supermarkets, malls, trade fairs, food fairs and public gatherings.
Use attractive sales girls wearing branded t-shirt with a small display stand with different products for free tasting. Along with the product sampling add a small survey to get feedback.
Product sampling creates awareness of the product to the general public. Human beings are creatures of habit so the likelihood that the customer will purchase your brand is very high.
The sampling also attracts wholesalers, stores, supermarkets, distributors and retailers in your area. Securing a bulk purchase order is a major score for a small business owner.
Chocolate Flavors
There are unlimited flavors to experiment with when making a quality bar. However the flavor you choose should be innovative and accepted by your consumers.
There are many flavors such as fruity flavors, spicy, sweetened, hints of off bit tastes.
Chocolate Colors
The color of your chocolate product is very important. Customers chose products on the strength of brand popularity and color.
Color is an essential part of our natural behavior and conditioning. Red depicts love, passion, relationship while brown chocolates have their own charm.
You can experiment with natural holistic colors, different shades of brown and brilliant colors. Many companies do extensive research on colors before settling on certain shades.
Experiment and discover unique colors that offer multi-sensory experience that cater to a customer’s indulgence.
Packaging the Chocolate
Packaging is the first thing a customer sees before buying the product. Impulse buyers will purchase an attractive package chocolate bar based primarily on how it looks.
An attractive package with high quality products including effective marketing will build brand loyalty.
Pricing the Chocolate Product
Offer premium chocolate at lower prices to attract a huge customer base. Lower prices are possible to achieve with smaller offering of a premium product.
 Most manufacturers produce different sizes for high price and moderate priced customers. It is a win –win situation because the customer gets to indulge his carvings while keeping to a reasonable budget.
Availability of the Product
Make sure your chocolate company is up to the task. Provide room for expansion and purchase high capacity equipment.
Every business worth its salt factors growth into the business structure. Factor this into your business and increase production as the demand grows.
Make your product readily available, visible and competitive. To expand your scope sell to drug stores, small shops, departmental stores, Sweet merchants, boutiques and specialty retailers.
Health Benefits of Chocolate
Another marketing trick is exploiting the health benefits of chocolate. Chocolate has some health benefits such as anti-inflammatory properties and healthy ingredients.
Introduce wholesome ingredients such as fruits, nuts and other ingredients.
Corporate Responsibility
Corporate responsibility is an important way to give back to society. It does not only provide service or charity but improves the brands image.
Sustainable practices increase brand awareness while providing valuable service to the community.
Personalization
Experiment with different shapes and colors for your product. Develop personalized themes, nationalistic themes and anniversary themes.
Customize and personalize themes according to orders and bulk purchase for anniversaries, wedding and birthday ceremonies. The major challenge for a small company is product labeling while the content remains the same.
Chocolate Making Equipment
There are a few things to consider such as chocolate ingredients, moulds, machinery and equipments. Commercial chocolate making is capital intensive and requires lots of fabricated and branded machinery. 
The type of machines you need includes chocolate refrigerators, cutters, cooling system, melting and molding. Other small equipments are hand tools, cheese waxing machines, panning, enrobing, spinning, vibrating and weighing machines.
Make sure you purchase high quality machinery and equipment for your enterprise. Choose from a wide selection of hand or semi- automated moulding machines that caters to your needs.
Due to the huge costs of buying equipment and machinery some companies offer rental facilities with an option to purchase the equipment.
List of Machinery and Equipment to make Chocolate
Cooling, enrobing, depositing
Bean bar equipment
Cheese waxing machines, cutters
Chocolate refrigeration, melting, panning
Moulding, tempering, spinning, hand tools
Packaging, weighing and finishing
Types of Chocolate
Before you start your chocolate manufacturing business you need to know about different types of chocolate. Companies that produce chocolate are very innovative creating amazing brands daily.
You need to keep in touch with fast changing trends to retain a competitive advantage. The main ingredients in chocolate are cocoa, powdered sugar, coca butter, fat. Others are coca solids, and cocoa liquor.
The different types of chocolates include dark chocolate, raw chocolate, organic chocolate, unsweetened chocolate and bittersweet chocolate. Others are Swiss dark chocolate, milk chocolate, semisweet chocolate, coca powder, white chocolate and compound chocolate.
A list of Chocolate Products
There are many types of chocolate products in the market. Listed below are a number of chocolate types made in different countries.
The different forms are based on varying quantity of ingredients, mixtures, heat application, fat, sugar or milk content.
Chocolate Products
Quasi chocolate, quasi milk chocolate
Chocolate sweet
Pure milk chocolate, skimmed milk chocolate, Couverture milk chocolate
White chocolate, Swiss white
Bittersweet chocolate
Semi-sweet chocolate
Dark chocolate
Sweet chocolate
Unsweetened chocolate
Cocoa powder
Raw chocolate
Organic chocolate
Conclusion
Before starting the business learn how to produce high quality chocolate. Learn from books, tutorials and online resources. Build up practical experience from apprentice programs or seminars.
Then write a business plan and carry out a feasibility study. Register your enterprise and secure funding through bank loans.
 Lease a commercial property and purchase or hire equipment. You need to develop a unique tasting chocolate and invest in packaging and promotions. Hire skilled labor including sales representatives to market the product.

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