Vanua Cho­co­late Re­tails at Ex­tra Su­per­mar­kets

Fiji Sun - - BUSINESS - CHARLES CHMABERS Feed­back: charles.cham­bers@fjisun.com.fj

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.”

Prices

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.

Vasemaca Turaga

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.

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