Export Strategy Belgian Chocolate Factory Assignment

Export Strategy Belgian Chocolate Factory Assignment Words: 5300

Table of contents Introduction 1? Presentation of the company 1. 1? History 1. 2? Philosophy 1. 3? Organization 1. 4? The company’s activities 1. 5? Activities concerned by the exportation 2? Macro economic analysis 2. 1? LE PEST C analysis 3? Export strategy 3. 1? The reasons of the company’s international opening 3. 2? The current exporting strategy 4? Export abilities 4. 1? The export diagnosis 4. 1. 1? The production tool 4. 1. 2? The finance 4. 1. 3? The products 4. 2? Analysis of the German market 4. 2. 1? The Four C framework 4. 2. 2? Satisfyer 5? Dolfin’s SWOT analysis 5. 1. 1?

Explanations of Swot 6? Recommendations 6. 1? Competition on the German market 6. 2? Distribution problems 7? Conclusion 8? Bibliography 1? 2? 2? 2? 2? 3? 3? 5? 5? 7? 7? 8? 10? 10? 10? 10? 10? 11? 11? 13? 14? 14? 17? 17? 18? 19? 20? Introduction In this report, we have chosen to analyze Dolfin, a Belgian company that has been producing fullflavoured chocolate bars since 1989. We will be analysing the exports of Dolfin, which nowadays is exporting to 22 countries around the world. The purpose of this report is to make an export audit in order to check if the company meets the necessary requirements.

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The main objective of this report is to build a SWOT analysis regarding the export of the company in order to propose development strategies linked to it. In order to do so, we have divided our work into 5 parts: first an analysis of the company, secondly we will focus on the international environment of Dolfin. After that we will move on to its export strategy before developing its export abilities. Finally, we will analyse Dolfin’s management of international operations in order to conclude with recommendations.

The country we have chosen to explore is Germany, firstly because it is one of the biggest consumers of chocolate in the world1, and secondly because recently Dolfin has faced some issues in order to export to this country. Besides, Germany is Dolfin’s main exporting country. PONTILLON, J. ,( coordinateur),Cacao et chocolat : production, utilisation, caracteristiques, Paris , Editions TEC et DOC, 1998, p25. 1 ? 1 1 Presentation of the company 1. 1 History Two Belgian brothers – Michael and Jean-Francois Poncelet – who decided to follow in their father’s footsteps, created Dolfin in 1989.

Both of them grew up with a fascination for the process of making chocolate. 2 “Always bearing in mind this craftsman’s approach, forcing the tool to meet the demands of quality, rather than the other way around, the sales have been rising steadily, amounting to 220 tonnes in the year 2000. The top-of-the-range bars and Neapolitan chocolate squares are now on offer in prestigious emporiums such as Selfridges in London, La Grande Epicerie in Paris, the KDW in Berlin and the Sony Plaza in Tokyo”. 3 1. 2 Philosophy4 For the master chocolate makers of Dolfin, chocolate is a passion.

They dare to create the most unexpected combinations, to invent the subtlest harmonies, searching as a team for the finest ingredients selected from the best that nature offers. Their chocolate coverings are made of exclusive recipes, constant in quality and taste. Dolfin also offers a wide range of chocolate, from 32% cocoa in milk chocolate to 88% in the bitterest. Containing less sugar, less fat and more cocoa than traditional recipes, Dolfin’s products concentrate the nutritional and therapeutic qualities of chocolate. Simple and authentic, chocolate is stored naturally for a long time (one year without any preserving agent). 1. Organization Dolfin is a Belgian private limited company with a turnover of 3. 000. 000 € and a net profit of 429. 237 € in 20085. WORLD WIDE CHOCOLATE, Dolfin chocolates and chocolate bars, URL address: http://www. worldwidechocolate. com/shop_dolfin. html (viewed 16th November 2009). 3 Dolfin – Dark chocolate, URL address: http://www. finedarkchocolate. com/Chocolate/Dolfin/index. asp (viewed 16th November 2009). 4 DOLFIN, Philosophie, URL address: http://dolfin. be/index. php? lang=En&page=philosophie (viewed the 16th November 2009).? 5 NATIONAL BANK OF BELGIUM, Comptes annuels en euro, 2008, 18p. , URL address : http://banquenationale. e/pub/ (viewed the 20th November 2009) 2 ? 2 Organization chart: General chocolates Company Holding Dolfin S. A. 5 Shareholders JJ. de Gruben Administration Finance Marketing R&D Production Purchase Quality Sales department 1 person 1 person 2 persons 12-15 pers. 1. 4 The company’s activities The main activities of the company are: – Gourmet squares with personalised packaging: The original activity of Dolfin is to make chocolate bars for companies with a personalised packaging in order to be used as gifts or as advertisement. Nowadays, even though this activity has decreased, it still represents 25% of the turnover.

As a small company, Dolfin is more flexible and can offer tailor made products. – The Dolfin chocolate range offers chocolate bars of 30 and 70 grams, Gourmet squares, chocolate flakes and dark chocolate petals with flowers, Jacqmotte coffee chocolate bars. – Tohi brand: this new Dolfin’s brand created in September 2008, is organic certified (controlled by Certisys) and fair trade (controlled by Max Havelaar). 1. 5 Activities concerned by the exportation ? 3 – Dolfin chocolate bars are exported in more than 22 countries, often in specialised « delicatessen ».

It is considered as fine chocolate, and it is sold in the most luxurious and prestigious place in trendsetter’s cities such as Paris (Lafayette), London, New York, Berlin… – The Tohi brand is only exported in health food shops to make sure people trust the brand before selling it in other shops. ? 4 2 Macro economic analysis 2. 1 LE PEST C analysis In order to understand clearly the environment in which our organisation works, it’s important to make a “LE PEST C Analysis”. This one ensures Dolfin to adapt its strategy to each specific market taking account of the external environment. Legal aspects: There are 3 specific laws and norms:

The HACCP norms in Belgium (“Hazard Analyses Critical Control Points”) regulate the quality of food industry products by preventing, managing and controlling the production chain6. The ISO 22000 “specifies requirements for a food safety management system where an organization in the food chain needs to demonstrate its ability to control food safety hazards in order to ensure that food is safe at the time of human consumption. “7 This norm is applicable to all organizations, regardless of the size, which are involved in any aspect of the food chain and want to implement systems that consistently provide safe products. European Directive: The labelling and the presentation of chocolate and cocoa products are regulated by the E. C (directive 2003/13/EC and 2000/36/EC). On a global view, pre-packed foodstuffs (to be delivered to the final consumers) must comply with compulsory standards on labelling and advertising. On the packaging must appear: – the name under which product is sold – a list of ingredients – the potential allergens – the durability date – the conditions for keeping – the place of origin FOULON L. , Hygiene et technologie de chocolaterie, Bruxelles, CERIA, syllabus, 2009-2010, p. International Organization for Standardization, URL address: http://www. iso. org/iso/catalogue_detail? csnumber=35466 (viewed the 02nd of November 2009). 8 Idem 7 6 ? 5 Each of these indications must be written in an easily understood language (official language of the country of marketing), especially for the chocolate or cocoa derivatives, we should also mention if there is a use of vegetable fats9. Ecological With the growing concern about the environment, Dolfin has to take into account various environmental pressures.

For several years now, it decided to cut its greenhouse gasses emissions and has become the first neutral carbon chocolate factory in Belgium. Moreover, a lot of specific materials are now forbidden and companies have to adapt. Due to that, Dolfin has made contracts with some firms specialized in ecological packaging. Political The political stability and the good relationship between Belgium and Germany are crucial. Economical: Globally, Germans are scared of the inflation level10. The sector is dependent on cocoa which is quoted on the stock exchange market and very sensitive to speculation.

Moreover, it’s a seasonal product and there is a slack period from March to June. Sociocultural: Here is a growing concern for several years with healthy food and obesity which can lead to a change in food habits and the need of specific products (less sugar, more cocoa). Technological For all new projects, Dolfin has to think about environmental pressures. Competitivity: The competition in the sector is tough. Dolfin is a mid-upscale product and have to compete with multinational companies and other upscale product.

Furthermore, in this sector, the competition is all the more intensive as products can be easily imitated. After launched a new one, competitors can copy the recipe without difficulty. ?EUROPA, Etiquetage, presentation et publicite des denrees alimentaires, URL address : http://europa. eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/product_labelling_and_packaging/l21090_fr. htm, (viewed 1st November) 10 GERMAN CULTURE, Germany in the World Economy, URL address : http://www. germanculture. com. ua/library/facts/bl_germany_world_economy. htm (viewed on the 15th of November).? 9 ? 6 3 Export strategy 3. The reasons of the company’s international opening Dolfin didn’t really aspire to export in the beginning but it came out as a good solution. On the one hand, the brand (Dolfin and Tohi) can keep their own shops in Belgium in order to boost the sales and to improve the brand awareness among potential new customers. On the other hand, Dolfin can export its products on the international market, which appeared to be the best solution because Belgian chocolate has a worldwide good reputation abroad. The three main countries where Dolfin is exporting are: Germany, France and the United States of America.

As explained before we have decided to focus on the German market. To understand the situation we will first have a look at the evolution and how they penetrated the market in 2001. In 2001, at the Ism fair (one of the most important fairs for chocolate makers) in Germany, German importers showed interest to import the company’s products. We could say that Dolfin did not really have a strategy ready for that. They decided to export in order to satisfy this demand. They started with 2 distributors: Feinkost (confectionery) and Suesswaren (delicatessen). They had exclusive contracts with these 2 distributors.

By 2005, according to Nathalie Trachte, one of the administrators of Dolfin, the interest for quality food in Germany is increasing. This means they prefer to pay more for high quality chocolate bars than eating a huge quantity of bulk chocolate. By that time, Dolfin realised they had no commercial strategy in Germany and that they had very few market shares. In 2006, the turnover of the German exportations dropped off by 15%. The reasons are first, because both distributors became competitors; secondly, it was due to the increasing number of new chocolate products on the German market. 1 In 2008, despite the crisis, the price of raw materials and the cultural fear for inflation in Germany, the exportations remained at a certain level. Moreover specialised shops decided to focus on bestsellers like Dolfin. However, the turnover kept on decreasing. In 2009, because of the very long summer, the season started a bit later. 11 Belcolade Conference, Salon de Paris 2009 (14th – 18th October 2009) ? 7 Belgian export to Germany (code SH18-cacao)12 : (M €) Chocolate and Cocoa Total export 2002 202,87 2003 199,60 2004 217,878 2005 240,18 2006 249,03 2007 278,49 2008 281,42 9. 402,07 31. 067,38 34. 037,69 35. 271,04 38. 451,03 38. 727,10 42. 605,73 This graph demonstrates an evolution in the Belgian exports of chocolate and cacao towards Germany between 2002 and 2008. This represents an increase of about 38% in 6 years. This means that Dolfin is acting in a growing market and that there are still opportunities to seize. 3. 2 The current exporting strategy Dolfin started to rethink the way it was exporting to Germany. In 2007, they decided to use the 5 P’s theory: – Product: launching new products and combining new flavours. Price: the price is higher than other standard chocolates as they sell quality products. However, it is not as expensive as premium chocolate. They didn’t want to change the price as they consider it as a fair one for a mid-upscale product. As we are talking about a niche product, changing the price wouldn’t be a suitable action to take. Communication by mail with Mrs Stas Marie, Service Evaluation et Strategie, Agence Wallonne a l’Exportation et aux Investissements Etrangers, 3/11/09 ? 12 ? 8 – Place: Dolfin started to look for suitable places for their products in order to create a luxury, exclusive image.

They decided to work with only one of the 2 distributors. – Promotion: Dolfin decided to advertise, to promote, to organize tastings in shops, releasing more press articles, etc… – People: the question was: “are they working with the right people and do they know them enough? ” As a response they increased the number of visits to distributors. In a nutshell, Dolfin is using direct exports selling its products straight to distributors. ? 9 4 Export abilities 4. 1 The export diagnosis 4. 1. 1 The production tool The production capacity Dolfin exports today 85% of its total production out of the Belgian territory.

However, it’s only using half of its production capacity. The production adaptability Each exporting market has its own demand specificities and likings, that’s why Dolfin pays special attention to analyze the product and make sure it will be suitable for most of the export markets. 4. 1. 2 The finance Dolfin gets its money mainly from the shareholders. They get subsidies from AWEX for the set up of the website, transport for fairs, stands, catalogues, etc. Dolfin doesn’t invest a lot in investigation. They actually wait for potential customers to come to them. 4. 1. 3 The products The Bio-physical characteristic

Chocolate has 6 main enemies: humidity, temperature shocks, too high temperature, light, insects and smells… The transport should also prevent strong smells to reach the chocolate because the cocoa butter is very sensitive to the smells. Chocolate is a perishable commodity with an average life time going from 12 to 18 months (depending on the flavours). Therefore, it is essential to assure, on the one hand, a quick transportation and, and on the other hand, good transport conditions to hamper the chocolate to become white if the temperature is not suitable. The regulatory criterion

Chocolate being an alimentary product, several norms and regulations are in use worldwide. As seen before, in Belgium we have the HACCP norms and companies also apply the ISO 22000 along with the European directives. ? 10 4. 2 Analysis of the German market 4. 2. 1 The Four C framework From the mid nineties to the late nineties, Germany was considered as a “mass market” as well as a very compressed “price market”. Indeed the Germans were known to be big consumers of milk chocolate buying low quality chocolate. However, in the late nineties, beginning of 2000, interest for quality increased and Germany became a connoisseur market.

That is when Dolfin entered the German market. “Marketing is a system for identifying and satisfying customer needs and wants…profitably »13. In order to do so, businesses have got to be customer oriented, which means they have to think in their point of view. In fact, the four P framework we analyzed previously will be now converted into C’s: Product = Customer Solution • Quality products are of great interest as well as organic certified products as it is a growing trend. • Design and packaging of Dolfin’s products are attractive to target audience and they are original. For the packaging, they respect the European directives concerning languages that must appear on the label. Indeed, in the case of Germany, customers can read the ingredients and other type of information in German, but also in French, English and Dutch. Doing this, Dolfin can use the same packaging for Belgium or other countries where these languages are spoken. • 59% are loyal to their brand14. Price = Customer Value • Does price matter? For some, absolutely: Germans are the most price-conscious chocolate buyers (35%)15. But Dolfin suits its prices to the audience it targets, so there is no change

TLATLI F. , Behaviors of the actors of the market, Bruxelles, ICHEC, slides 2009-2010. BARRY CALLEBAUT, Survey, 2008, URL address : http://www. barrycallebaut. com/56? group=,year=,lang=en,keyword=,page=1,release =4072,read=en (viewed 15th November) 15 idem 14 13 ? 11 needed regarding this. Furthermore, according to Nathalie Trachte: the costs related to the chocolate production don’t enable them to lower their price. 16 • Regarding the payments, they act different towards European and non-European customers. Indeed, customers inside Europe like Germany have to pay the first 5 orders in advance.

After this period they’ll get 30 days credit for each order. If the customer doesn’t pay after those 30 days, Dolfin won’t accept any order from them. Outside Europe, another policy is applied in order to hedge risks. They won’t deliver products, unless they have received the counter-part and this for every order. • Nathalie Trachte also pointed out the fact that prices or payments negotiations are difficult and long but once they are achieved, they do not discuss them again. Place = Convenience • In Germany, Dolfin sells its products through different channels.

The company is represented in small specialized shops but also in high class supermarkets. Their geographical coverage is very large. Indeed, you can find Dolfin’s Chocolates almost everywhere but only in luxurious places. This is very important for the image of the brand. In Germany you find them next to competitors such as Domori, Valrhona, etc. • Concerning the transport of the goods, they use the Incoterms Ex Works, which means that “the seller, in this case Dolfin, puts the goods at the disposal of the buyer in his accommodations”17. As seen previously, the transport has to take into account the bio-physical characteristics of chocolate.

Futhermore, we will analyze the reason of this choice in the SWOT analysis. Promotion + PEOPLE = communication • They especially emphasize on this concept. Indeed, satisfied customer is the best advertising. In terms of P’s, promotion and especially people are of great importance since they allow Dolfin to establish a good dialogue between both their suppliers and customers. As analyzed previously, due to the crisis the company had to review its strategy and in order to do so, they focused their attention on communication. This permits Dolfin to be closer to their distributors and hence their customers.

Personal interview with Nathalie Trachte, Administrator and Marketing responsible, Dolfin, Bruxelles, Belgium, 27th October 2009.? 17 HEINEN M-L. , Managing International Operations, Bruxelles, ICHEC, slides 2009-2010, p. 39.?? 16 ? 12 4. 2. 2 Satisfyer Dolfin has to know how to develop its customers’ satisfaction. They are looking for global satisfaction to have total happiness. Because it is not only at the point of sales, but most of all while consuming the product that the customer becomes satisfied, Dolfin is concentrating its efforts on the intangible elements, the most important part of satisfaction.

Indeed, for them, launching new quality products with original recipes is important but not only: they also have to invent other elements around that product in order to differentiate it from the competition with the aim to bring customer’s satisfaction. Within this concept of intangible elements, we distinguish the basic ones and the dynamic ones. As regards Dolfin’s basic intangible, quality is of great importance. That’s why, they stress on good services and constant quality to deliver what they promised to the customer.

To ensure that, Dolfin’s production methods conform to the strictest and most up-to-date standards of quality and cleanliness. One of the priorities of Dolfin is not only to make sure ingredients come from considered and concerned sources, but also to stay up-to-date in respect to the environment. In fact, Dolfin became the first CO2-neutral Belgian chocolate maker. Related to that quality, Dolfin is trying to create continuity. Indeed, focused on the future, they have to make sure the customer will remain loyal to them. To do so, they are also trying to launch and deliver their new creations on time as well on the market as to the customers.

This can only work if Dolfin can trust its customers, but also it has to have good relationships inside and outside the company. Inside the company, everybody knows each other as they are only 15. Outside the company, they are working with suppliers and distributors they have known for a long time. For the dynamic intangible, we can say that it is a prestige product for which the customer knows he will spend more money than for a standard chocolate, but in exchange, he gets a good feeling eating it. ? 13 5 Dolfin’s SWOT analysis Strengths Weaknesses – Organic and Fair-trade Brand : Max Havelaar & – Organic:? ifferent production schedules “Organic farming” certified – Packaging : language, experience, resistance and traceability – Respect of sanitary rules: A. F. S. C. A – No allergens contained (targets wider audience) – Small company: faster decision making – Present in trendsetter cities – No intermediaries (closer to customer) – Tastings, workshops, exhibitions in shops – Production capacity not fully used – Not in charge of the transport (Ex Works) – CO2 neutral ? more controls (Max Havelaar) – Low financial backup – Not in charge of the transport (Ex Works)

Opportunities – Few competition for Belgian organic chocolate – Growing demand for fine dark chocolate in Germany18 – Good reputation of Belgian chocolate19 Threats – Cocoa is quoted on the stock exchange – Profit linked to cash flow management – Competitive market – Copying of packaging and recipes – Seasonal product – World wide economical crisis 5. 1. 1 Explanations of SWOT Since some of the elements were not seen before or could be misunderstood, we would like to add more information. STIGSET M. , German Chocolate Market Is `Saturated,’ Association Head Says, URL address : http://www. loomberg. com/apps/news? pid=20601100=aosOXeX9FzD4=germany (viewed 17th November 2009) 19 MERCIER, J. , la tentation du chocolat, Belgique, Editions Racines, 2007, p82-101. 18 ? 14 Strength: – Their packaging is the same for Belgium as for Germany because it is written in 4 languages. Besides, the experience in packaging is due to their first activity in the chocolate business, in which they were making private label range products with Dolfin chocolate in it. They are very conscientious regarding traceability. Therefore, every packaging has a batch on it. Within their new export strategy, they focus on the promotional aspect. Indeed, Dolfin organises tastings, workshops … to attract the customer in an original way. – The production capacity not being fully used, the company could increase the production without spending too much money on new machinery. Consequently, the company could raise its production capacity very quickly and respond faster than competitors to an order. – In most cases, Dolfin doesn’t organize the transport. They use the Incoterms Ex Works. This allows them to focus on their production and not on transport issues.

Besides, their customers (importers) are used to transport and know better how to do it. Nevertheless, Dolfin sometimes recommends a transport company to its customers. – In 2008, Dolfin took the initiative to reduce its emissions of CO2 by 15%. Moreover, they took part in a project in Rajasthan to offset their remaining CO2 emissions20. That way, Dolfin became the first CO2 neutral company of Belgium. Weaknesses: – Having an organic and fair-trade brand does include some disadvantages. Firstly, the production schedule will have to be modified in order to prevent contamination between both conventional and organic production.

Secondly, Max Havelaar (fair trade) and Certisys21 (organic) check the production to make sure it is worth its organic and fair-trade certification. – The disadvantage of an Ex Works system is that customers may want a full service. However, Dolfin sometimes makes exceptions for some customers. Opportunities: – There is a growing demand for higher-quality dark chocolate in Germany22. Germans are becoming connoisseur and prefer quality. DOLFIN, Environnement, URL address: http://dolfin. be/index. php? lang=En&page=philosophie (viewed the 20th November 2009).. 1 CERTISYS, Organic Guarantee – Certisys, URL address: http://www. tohi. be/En/home. php? lang=En (viewed the 16th of November). 22 STIGSET M. , op. cit. , p. 12 20 ? 15 Threats: – The cocoa is quoted on the stock exchange in Pounds per ton. This means this raw material is very sensitive to speculations. Furthermore, the production of cocoa depends on the weather, the climate previsions (droughts, floods, plants diseases…) but also the political situation in the producing countries. 23 In addition to that, other raw materials are also quoted (milk powder, sugar… ). As regards the profit of the company, it is inked to the purchase of raw materials because the cocoa price is very volatile. Unfortunately, a price increase cannot fully be rejected on the client, and the company has to bear the burden of this problematic situation. – A good cash flow management is of great importance. It is capital to get paid from customers before paying suppliers. Therefore, Dolfin has to manage well its purchases and sales cycles: they need to have a positive net working capital. – In the chocolate sector, we observe a lot of copying of both the packaging and recipes. Indeed, during fairs for example, it is common to spy on the competition.

Therefore, industrial companies copy the ideas of smaller chocolate makers. – Recently, because of the crisis, the bankruptcy of a big customer has consequences on the financial situation of Dolfin. 23 PONTILLON J. , op. cit. , p. 1.? ? 16 6 Recommendations In order to propose recommendations, it is of interest to analyze the history of the current export strategy of Dolfin. We have seen that in 2001 Dolfin started to export to Germany on the demand of two German importers. In fact, Dolfin didn’t plan to export at that time and they didn’t develop any export strategy in order to do so.

They just did it, and, until 2007, business went good – sales and turnover increased every year. But in 2007 things went on differently. Dolfin started to loose market shares, and business didn’t go on better in 2008. Starting from that point, we are going to build our recommendations. By interviewing Nathalie Trachte, administrator and manager of the marketing department of Dolfin, we tried to find out the reasons of the current situation. Out of the discussion appeared two essential facts: the competition on the German market has strongly increased and Dolfin is facing distribution problems. . 1 Competition on the German market As developed previously in the cross-cultural analysis, we have to think and act in terms of customer solution and not the other way around. Recent surveys of Barry-Callebaut24 reveal some figures about the German chocolate consumers. Here are some interesting conclusions: – 60% prefers milk chocolate – only 37% consumes dark chocolate (less than all other Europeans) – German consumers are especially keen on change: 25% of German chocolate lovers surveyed regularly try different types and flavours.

Among a trend towards premium chocolate, original, organic and fair trade chocolates are becoming increasingly popular. To be able to offer customer solutions to the German consumers, we would recommend: – to increase the amount of milk chocolate products it offers. For example, currently, only 5 out of the 17 flavours of the chocolate bars of 70 grams are made with milk chocolate. – to develop the marketing around Tohi. Indeed, as fair trade and organic food become more popular on the German market, we shall respond to this demand. This should be done through smart advertising.

As we noticed before, Germans are sensitive to good quality products and keen to change 24 BARRY CALLEBAUT, op. cit. , p. 11 ? 17 as mentioned above. Therefore, it is of great importance to increase the customer’s awareness regarding the combination of quality – organic- and fair trade, with a particular stress on the quality of Tohi’s product. With these 2 recommendations we hope to respond to the problem concerning the increase in competition. 6. 2 Distribution problems To address the second problem relating to the distribution, we shall focus on ommunication: – We believe that frequent meetings between distributors and Dolfin’s employees would improve the established dialogue. Indeed, by doing this, they can share the knowledge concerning Dolfin range of products, and also the philosophy and strategy of the company. This would be particularly interesting when new creations are launched. This enables Dolfin to have a more coherent strategy and to achieve cohesion between Dolfin, distributors and customers. This way, the message the company is sending will be understood the right way. This might take time and money to be implemented, but it is worth a try.

Let’s now focus on possible openings: First, hotel-catering trade (Horeca) is an attractive sector. In Belgium, the company has a partnership with “le pain quotidien”. We believe it would be interesting to seek for similar cooperation in Germany. Secondly, since chocolate sales are high during specific events such as Christmas, birthdays, Saint Valentine days, mothers/fathers’ days, etc… They should develop new/original ideas in order to respond to this demand. That’s why we came up with the idea that a package including flowers and chocolate could satisfy the specific demand during those special days.

However, it is important to point out that it would be a difficult business to develop since laws and norms concerning foodstuffs are very strict. Finally, as the e-business is spreading all around the world, we thought Dolfin should develop a new strategy regarding this. On the one hand, it would enable the company to reach new customers and on the other hand, it allows being closer to their already loyal distributors/customers. Nevertheless, this implies hiring new employees who can manage properly both businesses and the creation of a new department.

In addition to that, it is difficult, through the web, to be close to their clients and to establish a good communication. ? 18 7 Conclusion We have reached the end of our analysis and it is now time for us to conclude the work. Firstly, we want to thank Nathalie Trachte for her devotion and vital information. By doing this paper we’ve learned to think in terms of international market and export. We’ve encountered 2 main problems during this assignment: the distribution and the competition on the German market. In order to tackle these, we have relied on the SWOT-analysis which we have built up, in order to develop recommendations.

We do hope these will be suitable for Dolfin. For each of the 2 problems, we have tried to find possible solutions. In addition to that, we have also intended to be more creative, considering other possible market openings. Nevertheless, we have to bear in mind the fact that we are not professionals with an experienced background and we may have forgotten to take some aspects into account for the analysis. Furthermore, to make a relevant export audit, more time and more information, especially regarding the German market, would be required. ? 19 8 Bibliography 8. 1 Books • FOULON L. Hygiene et technologie de chocolaterie, Bruxelles, CERIA, syllabus, 2009-2010, 35p. • MERCIER, J. , la tentation du chocolat, Belgique, Editions Racines, 2007, 240p. • PONTILLON, J. , Cacao et chocolat: production, utilisation, caracteristiques, Paris, Editions TEC et DOC, 1998, 638p. 8. 2 Websites • BARRY CALLEBAUT, Survey, 2008, URL address : http://www. barrycallebaut. com/56? group=,year=,lang=en,keyword=,page=1,release=4072,read=en (viewed 15th November) • CERTISYS, Organic Guarantee – Certisys, URL address: http://www. tohi. be/En/home. php? lang=En (viewed the 16th of November). Dolfin – Dark chocolate, URL address: http://www. finedarkchocolate. com/Chocolate/Dolfin/index. asp (viewed 16th November 2009). • DOLFIN, Philosophie, URL address: http://dolfin. be/index. php? lang=En=philosophie (viewed the 16th November 2009). • EUROPA, Etiquetage, presentation et publicite des denrees alimentaires, URL address : http://europa. eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/product_labelling_and_packag ing/l210 90_fr. htm, (viewed 1st November) • GERMAN CULTURE, Germany in the World Economy, URL address: http://www. germanculture. com. ua/library/facts/bl_germany_world_economy. htm (viewed on the 15th of November). International Organization for Standardization, URL address: http://www. iso. org/iso/catalogue_detail? csnumber=35466 (viewed the 02nd of November 2009). ? 20 • NATIONAL BANK OF BELGIUM, Comptes annuels en euro, 2008, 18p. , URL address : http://banquenationale. be/pub/ (viewed the 20th November 2009) • STIGSET M. , German Chocolate Market Is `Saturated,’ Association Head Says, URL address : http://www. bloomberg. com/apps/news? pid=20601100&sid=aosOXeX9FzD4&refer=german y (viewed 17th November 2009) • WORLD WIDE CHOCOLATE, Dolfin chocolates and chocolate bars, URL address: http://www. worldwidechocolate. om/shop_dolfin. html (viewed 16th November 2009) 8. 3 Interview • Personal interview with Nathalie Trachte, Administrator and Marketing responsible, Dolfin, Bruxelles, Belgium, 27th October 2009. 8. 4 Others • Belcolade Conference, Salon de Paris 2009 (14th – 18th October 2009) • Communication by mail with Mrs Stas Marie, Service Evaluation et Strategie, Agence Wallonne a l’Exportation et aux Investissements Etrangers, 3/11/09 • HEINEN M-L. , Managing International Operations, Bruxelles, ICHEC, slides 2009-2010, p. 39 • TLATLI F. , Behaviors of the actors of the market, Bruxelles, ICHEC, slides 2009-2010 ?

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