The iconic brand República del Cacao seeks to rescue a national treasure and to use it as raw material to make an authentic, top quality and 100% ecuadorian product.
According to Gonzalo Chiriboga Vela, Corporate Manager of República del Cacao Business to Consumers, the purpose is to sell denomination of origin; in other words, to sell the country in a product that will project Ecuador into the world.
We meet Gonzalo in one of the stores República del Cacao has nationwide, located in Plaza Foch, the recently remodeled store has an original style that lures you to a new experience for all the senses. The aroma invades the senses as an invitation to taste the product, while the décor transports us to the origins of cacao.
What is the concept behind the brand República del Cacao?
Our objective is to transfer the historical richness of ecuadorian cacao. To achieve it we realized that this adventure went beyond the idea of placing a new product on the shelf. The concept had to tell a story, invite costumers on a journey that reveals the origin of cacao in the farms, and the influence it has had on the economy of our people.
What was the strategy?
With a strong investment in terms of time and money we participate in the international market with a vertical integration strategy, searching for the best cacao in Ecuador, making the best chocolate in Latin America, and developing retail stores where we appeal to the senses.
The intention is to go global?
The philosophy of our company goes much further than selling chocolate; it is primarily exporting the “country’s brand”. The goal is that the quality of our products be related worldwide with their origin: Ecuador. The concept in our stores will be maintained in order to develop the mental bond in our customers, recreating the origin and personality of the product. Inside the packing of our bars we have a GPS code that provides information on the place where the beans, with which that bar was produced, came from.
Are chocolate consumers that demanding?
When it comes to top quality products, the consumer is very demanding and wants to know the details. It takes a few minutes to deliver a brief brand explanation that promotes a closer emotional bond with the user. Ecuador is the number one producer of the most exclusive variety of fine aroma cacao, which is precisely the one with which we manufacture our products.
Is Ecuador the main producer in the world?
The country provides 63% of the world’s fine aroma cacao. In other varieties, which are known as “generic”, we occupy the seventh place with 2.75% of the production.
República del Cacao has developed a portfolio of Premium products “harvested and produced in the origin”, and we have developed bars with added ingredients. Nowadays there is a trends of exotic mixtures of chocolate with pieces of plantain; the chocolate bar with rose petals is the preffered by our consumers. We offer a variety of alternatives that combine high quality chocolate with raw materials and representative flavors of our country. Our flag product is the Vinces bar with 75% of solid cacao it’s a bar with a social concept where a percentage of its income is destined to social programs to support our providers in the improvement of the product’s quality. These reflectes in a better quality of life for our farmers and guarantees the quality that is needed for our products.
Which is the estimated growth potential?
Nowadays Ecuador produces about 150 tons of fine aroma chocolate per year. In order to become significant we must produce a few thousand tons.
This potential growth and the structuring of a solid strategic project has gained government support, as we are totally in line with its policy for changing the country’s production matrix.
Which is the brand’s objective?
To turn República del Cacao into the first Ecuadorian global brand, acknowledged around the world as competitive; with this we simultaneously export the name of our country. The brand is still young, but the results of its expansion process are already visible.
Ecuador is being recognized internationally and by tourists and our effort is to support that position with top quality products such as Ecuadorian cacao and chocolate.
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