Vanua Chocolate Retails at Extra Supermarkets
Vanua Chocolates are now be available at Extra Supermarkets in Lautoka and Suva. Company director Arif Khan said the expansion into having the different flavours of Vanua Chocolate being retailed at one of Fiji’s leading supermarkets was also a thumbs up for local cocoa growers.
“Previously our target market were tourists but we also had a good following of locals who were buying from our café at Namaka,” Mr Khan said.
“Seeing there was a big demand for local premium chocolate, we thank Extra Supermarket for allowing us to display our chocolates at their two supermarkets.
“We were selling to Suva customers previously through orders but now they have it at Extra Supermarket in Flagstaff.”
Mr Khan said the chocolates were available in 57 gram packs and retailing for $9.95.
The chocolate was also still being sought after in Australia and New Zealand.
“We aim to start exporting there too soon.” Mr Khan said Vanua Chocolate had a lot of health benefits with it.
“We have been educating people on the benefits of dark chocolate which we make and has 60 percent cocoa content and the rest is sugar.
“Dark chocolate has a high level of antioxidant which is good for the body in terms of supplementing nutrients and is known, through research, to have a positive effect on cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.” He said the company has always stressed to customers to sample the chocolates before buying.. Customers can sample the chocolates at Extra Supermarket in Suva next week while some had the chance to sample them at the Extra Supermarket in Lautoka past Saturday.
“This is a Fijian chocolate and we want customers to try it.”
Also on sale would be Vanua Chocolate brand roasted cocoa nibs which could be used with cereals, smoothies or baking which would also be retailed for $9.95.
Increased Cocoa Buying from Local Farmers
Mr Khan said expanding the market for Vanua Chocolate meant increasing the buying of cocoa from local farmers in Vanua Levu and Viti Levu.
The buying of cocoa was handled by Vanua
Chocolate sister company Cacao Fiji which had processing centres at Dreketi on Vanua Levu and and Nukuloa in Rakiraki.
Mr Khan said he presently bought from 150 farmers but was looking to increase this to 500 farmers and as export countries overseas increase to then look at 1000 farmers.
“I want to sign contracts with then to assure them of a market and pay more if the supply increases.
Meanwhile Vatukarasa, Tailevu, cocoa farmer, Vasemaca Turaga said she had increased her plants from 500 to 1500.
“I have encouraged other farmers in the area to grow cocoa as Cacao Fiji is always ready to buy it when it is ready,” Mrs Turaga said. “I am happy the company wants to buy more from us at an increased price and I am looking forward to signing the contract with them,” she said.
Mr Khan said the market demand for local chocolate had risen to around 1000 metric tonnes and he has encouraged farmers to expand their cocoa planting.
Vanua Chocolates available at Extra Supermarket in Suva and Lautoka.