Conducting a Market Assessment of a Vegetable Oil based Substitute for Cocoa Butter in the Chocolate Industry

Client Challenge

The client was a leading agribusiness and food company with operations across the globe. It sold products and services at numerous points along the food production chain

The client was proposing to setup a Greenfield refining unit to produce vegetable fat from Palm and Palm kernel. The top management, thus, requested UC Strategy to assist it in conducting market assessment of a vegetable oil based substitute for Cocoa Butter in the chocolate industry


Our Approach

In order to conduct a market assessment, UC Strategy used the following approach:

  • As a part of the assignment conducted discussions with more than 20 respondents across industry
  • Segmented the chocolate industry to identify different chocolate and confectionary types
  • Understand key ingredients used (e.g. Cocoa butter, other vegetable oil-based fats)
  • Examined the driver for usage of specific ingredients (Shine, taste etc)
  • Understood and highlighted any regulatory guidelines impacting the choice of the customer based on products
  • Examined the usage and receptivity to switch to substitutes. Spoke to the formulation/ R&D people to understand the specific dynamics
  • Understood and highlighted the switching criteria (largely focused on the product quality)
  • Trends in pricing of the ingredients were analysed
  • Examined the buying behaviour and criteria.
  • Assessed the procurement and supply chain dynamics
    • Frequency of purchase/ Delivery expectations
    • Vendor approval criteria and process etc.
  • Prepared a competitive landscape and benchmarked other players in the industry
  • Assessed the market forecast for vegetable oil-based substitutes
  • Examined the value chain and supply scenario in India.

Our Impact

The client received a detailed market assessment of the cocoa butter substitutes.

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