Country-of-Origin labelling has added a very sweet touch to Groovy Chocolate’s performance.
As the name aptly suggests, Groovy Chocolate makes hip, edible treats like printed
chocolates and Advent Calendars.
The manufacturer started trading in 2006 and three years later began using the Australian Made, Australian Grown logo to highlight its Australian-ness on its products’ ingredients labels and its website.
“Personalised chocolate is sometimes perceived to be a product that’s made to the cheapest price, frequently made overseas, and having questionable taste,” owner James Macdonald explains. “All of our products are made locally with high quality ingredients – as we believe taste is as important as appearance – and the AMAG logo helps us stand out and distance ourselves from other chocolate companies who may have similar but inferior products.”
Even though debate surrounds country-oforigin claims and food labelling laws within the food and beverage sector, Macdonald says he has never been questioned about where the company’s products originate from.
“Our customers and visitors to our stands at trade expos have always been very pleased to know that our products are made locally,” Macdonald says. “The AMAG logo backs up our claims and gives them confidence that it’s fact rather than a sales pitch. The green and gold triangle is proof enough.”
The business sells directly to clients, including other businesses looking to promote themselves or reward staff and clients as well as individuals looking for gift-giving treats. This is done primarily online and through various promotional product companies. Staff numbers vary according to season, which routinely peak at Easter and Christmas.
“We were busy right up to Christmas Eve last year and were glad for a few weeks off to recover,” Macdonald recalls. “January is normally very quiet for us, however this year has proved to be very different and the amount of enquiries we’ve had over January has taken us by surprise. We are already taking orders for Easter, and have had a number of enquiries for Christmas 2011 as well.”
The early orders are a good indicator that locally made printed chocolate is becoming more sought after. The firm has developed a lot in the last five years, experiencing growth in turnover and market awareness. It has been able to purchase new production equipment and will continue to extend its product range and staff in the coming years.
“We have often had to go up against overseas suppliers which can be difficult to compete with on price alone. The AMAG logo has helped convince many businesses to keep the business local and if it costs a little more to do so, they are still happy to proceed knowing the end product will be of a higher quality.”
“By embracing its Australianness, Groovy Chocolate has created a key point of difference over its competitors and this has paid off, which is tremendous news for the company,” AMAG Chief Executive Ian Harrison says.
“Consumer appetite for Australian made products is strong so I strongly urge all businesses that currently manufacture locally, to register to use the logo so that they can effectively brand their products and help consumers easily identify them.’