The platform to support Belgian chocolatiers


As Easter approaches, chocolatiers try to encourage customers to get in hand with local craftsmen rather than supermarkets. There is now an online platform for this.

Like all our interactions over the past three weeks, Easter will also take place online this year, Containment said. But every year it is the must-see event for chocolatiers, for which the tradition of Easter bells or rabbits sometimes accounts for up to 30% of their annual turnover. In this time of captivity, when you only go shopping in supermarkets once a week, they have decided to send a message to consumers: support local producers. To do this, an online platform has been specifically launched to help local chocolate craftsmen: “Not without my chocolate”.

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Easter is traditionally a busy time for Belgian chocolate. During this period of captivity, Callebaut in particular was a partner of the platform Not Without My Chocolate, which is intended to additionally support Belgian chocolate craftsmen. “This year, more than ever, you’re buying your Easter eggs and chocolate specialities from the local chocolatier and supporting your local shopkeeper.” Although, like other grocery stores, chocolate shops are not closed, it is obvious that they are deserted.

Easter sometimes amounts to 30% of annual turnover

“Easter is one of the busiest times of the year for our chocolatiers, and for some it can account for up to 30% of their annual turnover. Many chocolatiers have been preparing for this for several weeks. Other festivals such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are also coming. The presence of Covid-19 in the country is a blow to local trade.explains Kristof Bastiaens, Sales Manager Barry Callebaut Gourmet Benelux.

Thanks to this new platform, chocolate craftsmen can stay in touch with their customers despite social distance, and Belgians can continue to enjoy Easter eggs and Belgian chocolate. All chocolate manufacturers in the country can join the new platform. Simply create an account and profile. Merchants can also specify the services they offer (home delivery, online ordering and/or pick-up at the store).

Don’t panic, the good chocolates will always be at the Easter meeting. ©Norwood Themes/Unsplash

On the customer’s page, simply indicate your place of residence, name, type of store and type of delivery to see the options available to you. Once they have found their chocolatier, they can place their chocolate order by contacting the chocolate manufacturer through their own distribution channels.

“Today, 73 Belgian chocolatiers have already registered on the platform. It is very well received by our customers and we hope that more and more chocolatiers will be added in the coming days. Many chocolatiers now focus on online sales, phone or email orders and home deliveries, but not everyone is in the same situation. With the platform, we want to offer them additional support. Even chocolatiers who had to close their shop can continue to work. We want to send the message to the consumer: “Your local store is always so close to you, don’t forget it.”.

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The Choline Jéréme Grimonpon in Uccle has already joined the platform: “Our main goal is to continue to serve our customers. Given the current context, we had to adapt creatively. Customers who wish can therefore make an appointment in the store, but also order by e-mail, phone and Facebook (Messenger). Of course, we have stepped up our communication on social networks to inform our customers, but the “Not without my chocolate” initiative gives us a real boost in this time of solidarity of containment.”

The #NotWithoutMyChocolate campaign also brings together international chocolatiers working together to deal with the crisis.