Associated Brands Industries Limited (ABIL) Charles Chocolates

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Introduction

The process of entering a new market is often quite stressful and inviting numerous risks, especially when appealing to the needs of an entirely new audience belonging to a different culture. However, the specified step also implies multiple benefits and opportunities, such as the possibility to become a leader in the target market and reinforce the presence and popularity of a brand globally. Additionally, the chance to update the existing supply chain and create new business ties with local organizations provides a rather lucrative opportunity for any company. Therefore, for the Associated Brands Industries Limited (ABIL) Charles Chocolates Company, entering the vegan chocolate and chocolate milk markets in Trinidad and Tobago represents an important step in expanding the organization’s global influence. Since Trinidad and Tobago are globally renowned for their chocolate and, particularly, the unique hybrid, the Trinitario cocoa, the specified market will offer (ABIL) Charles Chocolates a tremendous opportunity for successful development. Therefore, to enter the Trinidad and Tobago vegan chocolate and chocolate drinks markets, (ABIL) Charles Chocolates must use the business strategy that targets affluent consumers while relying on the brand diversity and the promotion of emotional connection to the product in customers. However, to enter the Trinidad and Tobago market effectively, (ABIL) Charles Chocolates will need to change its strategy toward focusing on the quality and health-related properties of its chocolate and vegan chocolate drinks so that the organization could appeal to the target population without the fear of failing to establish the cross-cultural dialogue.

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Company Overview

History

Charles Chocolates is one of the many brands represented under the umbrella of Associated Brands Industries Limited (ABIL). The organization was founded in 1974 and is currently located in Trinidad and Tobago. (ABIL) Charles Chocolates currently requires further expansion to capture a presence in the local market and get ready for the exploration of the global economic setting.

SWOT

Strengths
  • Strong market presence;
  • Recognizable brand image;
  • High product quality;
  • Reasonable prices
Weaknesses
  • Insufficient amount of resources;
  • Lack of innovative strategies;
  • Lack of focus on technological advances
Opportunities
  • Exploring new markets;
  • Increasing brand awareness;
  • Building a global presence
Threats
  • Failure to integrate IT ad ICT;
  • Environmental factors (risk to growing cocoa trees)

Business Strategy

The company’s current business strategy is based primarily on product diversification and the introduction of multiple brands into the target economic setting. However, the organization may need to consider focusing on the health benefits of its vegan chocolate brand, as well as introducing a more palatable image for its chocolate milk product so that it could be more appealing to kids.

Goals and Objectives

The main goal of the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates currently is to expand into new markets and explore opportunities for gaining new audiences, partners, and suppliers. Likewise, the expansion of its current supply chain is also deemed an important objective.

Market Analysis

Vegan Chocolate Market

Diving into the realm of the Chocolate Market of Trinidad and Tobago, particularly, its Vegan Chocolate branch, one must address the fact that the country has been famous for its chocolate products for decades. However, the industry has faced multiple challenges, as the current cocoa production rates indicate. Plummeting from 30,000 tons of cocoa per year to a staggering rate of 500 tons, cocoa production has seen significant changes (Jewell, 2017).

Porter’s 5 Forces

Porter’s 5 Forces

As the figure above shows, the current competition rates within the chocolate industry are very high since farmers must compete aggressively in order to become competitive in the target market. Given the high competition rates within the chocolate market, in general, it could be argued that the vegan chocolate market industry is also quite competitive. Indeed, most of the scenarios associated with the production of regular chocolate are applicable to that one of the vegan one. However, it is worth mentioning that, as a product, vegan chocolate is a relatively new addition to the current chocolate market, which is why the bargaining power of buyers, who have a comparatively low range of option from which they can choose.

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In turn, the threat of substitutes is likely to be moderate compared to the situation observed in the chocolate market at Trinidad and Tobago, in general. Given the fact that the vegan chocolate industry is a subsection of the chocolate one, it could be argued that the major competitors such as Trinidad & Tobago Fine Cocoa Company may also try searching for new opportunities in the vegan chocolate market. However, it is unlikely that the organizations, which have already expanded far enough to capture the entire industry are going to attempt at a potentially risky endeavor that will cost them significant financial resources. Therefore, the vegan chocolate market can be considered a comparatively safe yet almost entirely unexplored realm.

PESTEL

Factors Effects
Political
  • Current political system molded after the UK political standards ad principles;
  • Democracy as the main form of the government and principle of economic and political interactions;
  • No major restrictions on the economic interactions with other countries
Economic
  • High-income economy;
  • Industrial economy type;
  • Key sectors: energy, agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism;
  • Cocoa as one of the main food products and the most recognizable brand image of Trinidad and Tobago
Legal
  • Legal system perfectly suitable for foreign investment;
  • Possible focus on outsourcing on behalf of the U.S.-owned organizations
Technological
  • High levels of technological readiness;
  • Active focus on the development of technological skills in employees.
Environmental
  • Low levels of environmental threat due to the lack of productive sectors affecting the environment substantially;
  • Low rates of water pollution and greenhouse gas emission.
Legal
  • No visible legal constraints in the nearest future;
  • Focus on the needs of trade unions as the main trend in the current legislation (Jewell, 2017).

As the PESTEL analysis above indicates, the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates is unlikely to face any constraints when entering the context of the Trinidad and Tobago vegan chocolate market. Specifically, the fact that the local economy supports the development of agriculture is especially important given the fact that locally grown chocolate is going to be the main ingredient for (ABIL) Charles Chocolate’s product. Since vegan chocolate does not require dairy products, the fact that Trinidad and Tobago lacks the specified product and primarily imports it from the U.S. is unlikely to affect the company’s performance.

Bench Marking

Characteristic ABIL Charles Chocolates Competitor 1: Trinidad & Tobago Fine Cocoa Company Competitor 2: Cocoa Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited Competitor 3:Cocobel Chocolate
Market share Low N/A (presumably, majority) N/A N/A
Operating costs Medium High Medium Low
Return on Equity (ROE) 10% 9.5% 3% N/A
Debt-to-equity Ratio Low N/A (presumably, medium) N/A (presumably, medium) N/A(presumably, low)
Earning per Share ca. 3% ca. 3% ca. 3% ca. 2%

The benchmarking for the vegan chocolate market performed above indicates that the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates currently does not have major competitors for its vegan chocolate drink in the target economic setting. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that the organization should create a strong and memorable brand image that will immediately place it at the top of the vegan chocolate market hierarchy.

Competitor analysis

Criteria Competitor 1: Trinidad & Tobago Fine Cocoa Company Competitor 2: Cocoa Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited Competitor 3:Cocobel Chocolate
Revenue $4,000,000 N/A N/A
Profit N/A N/A N/A
Market Share N/A(supposedly the majority)
Main activity Chocolate production Chocolate production Chocolate production
Business strategy Support of the IMPACTT strategy (lives of local farmers) Appeal to a niche audience
Competitive advantage Experience, market presence, number of customers Experience, quality, market presence Experience, market presence
Product quality High High Moderate
Price High High Moderate

As emphasized above, none of the chocolate companies currently operating in Trinidad and Tobago produce vegan chocolate. Therefore, the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates has a tremendous competitive advantage that will allow the organization to propel itself to the top of the market pyramid. Thus, creating a memorable brand image that will be instantly relatable to the target audiences must be regarded as an absolute necessity. A combination of the focus on the uniqueness of the product, its positive effects on health, and unique taste, which will create unique experiences, must become the core of the promotion strategy.

Product portfolio analysis

Industry attractiveness
Business Attractiveness High Medium Low
High
Medium
Low

As shown in the image above, the present combination of business attractiveness and industry attractiveness for the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates is quite high as far as the production and selling of vegan chocolate is concerned.

Chocolate Drink Market

Unlike the vegan chocolate market, which has not been wandered into by other chocolate organizations at Trinidad and Tobago, thus, concealing a truly untapped potential, the Chocolate Drink market in the specified location has been mostly captured by the above-mentioned large corporations. Specifically, the Trinidad and Tobago Fine Cocoa Company has been offering its services in the specified context for a significant amount of time. Therefore, the competition is likely to be particularly rough. Nevertheless, there is an opportunity to take the specified niche.

Porter’s 5 Forces

Porter’s 5 Forces

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As the analysis above shows, the organization will still have to face rather stiff competition, primarily due to the fact that, with a massive company that has almost dominated the specified market, the chances to be noticed by customers and potential partners approach zero in the target context, especially given the power that the Trinidad-and-Tobago-produced chocolate has as a brand. Namely, the bargaining power of buyers remains moderate since the alternatives to the offered product are quite few. Specifically, the range of cocoa-related drinks is scarce and pales in comparison to the original flavor of cocoa. Similarly, the threat of substitutes is at the medium level due to the possibility of an innovative product being introduced into the market. Additionally, given the fact that the target product is moderately differentiated, the bargaining power of suppliers is located at the middle of the scale. Finally, the threat of new entrants is quite low since the Trinidad & Tobago Fine Cocoa Company has captured the target market almost completely (Bekele, 2016).

PESTEL

Factors Effects
Political
  • Current political system molded after the UK political standards ad principles;
  • Democracy as the main form of the government and principle of economic and political interactions;
  • No major restrictions on the economic interactions with other countries
Economic
  • High-income economy;
  • Industrial economy type;
  • Key sectors: energy, agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism;
  • Cocoa as one of the main food products and the most recognizable brand image of Trinidad and Tobago
Legal
  • Legal system perfectly suitable for foreign investment;
  • Possible focus on outsourcing on behalf of the U.S.-owned organizations
Technological
  • High levels of technological readiness;
  • Active focus on the development of technological skills in employees.
Environmental
  • Low levels of environmental threat due to the lack of productive sectors affecting the environment substantially;
  • Low rates of water pollution and greenhouse gas emission.
Legal
  • No visible legal constraints in the nearest future;
  • Focus on the needs of trade unions as the main trend in the current legislation (‘Trinidad & Tobago Fine Cocoa,’ n.d.).

As the PESTLE assessment provided above has shown, there are very few constraints for the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates to enter the Trinidad and Tobago chocolate drink market. Among the most notable aspects of the target setting, one should list the emphasis on the technological development of the industry and the absence of constraints in terms of regulations, including environmental restrictions. Additionally, outsourcing opportunities must be regarded as the critical aspect of the present framework. Overall, the barriers for entering the Trinidad and Tobago Chocolate milk market are very low for the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates.

Bench Marking

Characteristic ABIL Charles Chocolates Competitor 1: Trinidad & Tobago Fine Cocoa Company Competitor 2: Cocoa Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited Competitor 3:Cocobel Chocolate
Market share Low N/A (presumably, majority) N/A N/A
Operating costs Medium High Medium Low
Return on Equity (ROE) 10% 9.5% 3% N/A
Debt-to-equity Ratio Low N/A (presumably, medium) N/A (presumably, medium) N/A(presumably, low)
Earning per Share ca. 3% ca. 3% ca. 3% ca. 2%

The results of the benchmarking indicate that the organization has rather strong chances in competing against the current range of organizations. Specifically, the lack of available data on the performance of the companies in question suggests that the target setting lacks rigidity in its standards. In turn, a high-performance company such as the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates will help to set the bar quite high.

Competitor analysis

Criteria Competitor 1: Trinidad & Tobago Fine Cocoa Company Competitor 2: Cocoa Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited Competitor 3:Cocobel Chocolate
Revenue $4,000,000 N/A N/A
Profit N/A N/A N/A
Market Share N/A(supposedly the majority)
Main activity Chocolate production Chocolate production Chocolate production
Business strategy Support of the IMPACTT strategy (lives of local farmers) Appeal to a niche audience
Competitive advantage Experience, market presence, number of customers Experience, quality, market presence Experience, market presence
Product quality High High Moderate
Price High High Moderate

The competitor analysis for vegan milk and the chocolate drink market, in general, leads o th same outcomes as the assessment of the vegan chocolate setting. Although the chocolate drink market has been developed more thoroughly, it still opens multiple opportunities for capturing the attention of the target audiences with a new product and a well-developed brand image.

Product portfolio analysis

Industry attractiveness
Business Attractiveness High Medium Low
High
Medium
Low

Currently, the attractiveness of the product is based on its effects on health. Namely, the fact that a vegan product is offered should become the foundation for the marketing process. Thus, the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates will be able to win in the new economic setting.

Strategy Development

Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning (STP)

The target market is represented by a large number of groups, which include both men and women, and has a tremendous age variety, specifically, from very young children to the aging demographic (Nadube and Didia, 2018). The observed trend is quite understandable given the nature of the product. Although chocolate is not a necessary type of food, it is still very popular, being regarded as one of the most common types of candy (Nadube and Didia, 2018). Therefore, the customers purchasing it vary tremendously in their age, ethnicity, sex, gender, and other personal characteristics.

Currently, the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates sees children aged 5-12, teenagers, young adults, and adults as its target population. Although the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates recognizes the challenges of catering to the needs of a group as diverse in terms of its age, it would be unreasonable to ignore people of a certain age as the company’s target audience given the fact that chocolate and the related products can be consumed by virtually anyone. Since chocolate may have a negative effect on very young children, it is recommended that the company should target children aged five and older (Kalam, 2020). However, as per the rest of the age groups, the company will seek to embrace each of them so that as broad a number of people could be viewed as potential customers of the company. Therefore, all age groups starting from five will be included into the list of potential customers.

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Given the opportunity to cater to a tremendously diverse group of customers, the company will need to opt for the positioning strategy that will allow tit to become equally appealing to all types of buyers. Although the described requirement may lead to the creation of a very generic brand image, it is a necessary limitation since the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates needs to capture the target market fully in order to become competitive and be able to manage the competition with the current leader in the industry, namely, Trinidad and Tobago Fine Cocoa Company and several others (“From bean to bar: a successful diaspora investment in cocoa,” n.d.). For this reason, the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates must position itself in a way that will be generic enough to appeal to the needs of every target customer while also unique enough to remain memorable and easily relatable. Specifically, it is suggested that the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates should position itself as the company that combines both tasty and healthy product with its vegan chocolate brand and helps create the most cherished memories with its sweet chocolate milk. A combination of the concepts of healthy, wholesome, and tasty products will allow the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates to attract the adult audience while also not pushing children away from the product. To ensure that the latter category becomes attached to the brand particularly strongly, a mascot represented by an animated character might need to be created. However, it is important to ensure that it is not reminiscent of some of the similar characters, such as the Nesquik rabbit.

Competitive Advantage

Currently, the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates has a rather strong competitive advantage in regard to the vegan option for its chocolate milk. Since the specified product is going to represent the second most important brand that the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates will use to represent itself in the target market, it is likely to attract the attention of the target audiences, including both customers and investors, quite fast.

Therefore, the organization may incorporate the angle of producing healthy options for buyers of chocolate and chocolate drinks. Namely, a substantial part of the competitive advantage of the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates brand will have to be built based on the fact that the organization caters to the needs of vegans. Additionally, it will be necessary to emphasize that the company offers the type of chocolate that will include healthy substitutes and, therefore, will not lead to the same negative health outcomes as the traditional chocolate and chocolate products. For instance, lower sugar levels and the replacement of saturated fats with cocoa butter and the related constituents that do not include animal fat should become one of the highlights of the marketing campaign.

The price will also be used as an important part of the competitive advantage that the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates will use as a leverage in the competition with a local rival. Namely, given the fact that Trinidad and Tobago Fine Covcoa Company typically sets its price per chocolate bar as high as $16, it will be reasonable for the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates to implement a more reasonable pricing policy ad start at the price of $5 per bar or less. The specified choice should be coupled with the brand image that will place emphasis on a combination of excellent quality and affordable prices, which will set the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates apart from the rival mentioned above.

Finally, the fact that the company as a perfectly developed HRM strategy that allows it to build highly qualified teams and train staff members so that they could deliver excellent performance should be mentioned as a doubtless competitive advantage. The specified issue is likely to become particularly vital to the organization’s performance at Trinidad and Tobago once the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates starts building a local supply chain and connecting it to the existing global one. Specifically, due to the cohesion in the actions of its work team and the cooperation between the participants, the company will transfer critical information and resources on time, ensuring that every element of its local supply chain functions impeccably. As a result, high product quality will become an inalienable trait of the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates’ products.

Communication

Finally, communication should be represented as a vital part of the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates’ competitive advantage that will allow the firm to enter the Trinidad and Tobago chocolate market effectively. Due to the masterful integration of IT ad ICT tools into the process of data management, the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates has been able to communicate both with its customers and business partners without any hindrances (Grunert, 2019). The specified communication approach will be upgraded specifically to ensure that the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates functions just as flawlessly in the Trinidad and Tobago chocolate market setting. Namely, the possible cross-cultural issues will be addressed by performing thorough research and examining the specifics of the Trinidad and Tobago culture.

Conclusion and Recommendations

In order to enter the Trinidad and Tobago chocolate milk and vegan chocolate markets, the (ABIL) Charles Chocolates should position itself as the company that manages to build a cross-cultural rapport with each of its customers but as the company that produces the chocolate milk and vegan chocolate products of the finest quality and the most exquisite taste. The specified decision is justified by the necessity to appeal to a very affluent group, which most of the Trinidad and Tobago population represent. In addition, due to the massive differences in the cultural perceptions of (ABIL) Charles Chocolates and Trinidad and Tobago customers, there is a very high threat of misrepresenting the company and misunderstanding the target audience. Since the specified issues may lead to a devastating failure of (ABIL) Charles Chocolates in the specified markets, it I highly recommended that (ABIL) Charles Chocolates should focus on positioning itself as a company with luxurious products and services instead. Thus, (ABIL) Charles Chocolates will be able to gain influence in both of the Trinidad and Tobago’s target markets. Although the rivalry rates are unreasonably high in the specified setting, there are strong chances for (ABIL) Charles Chocolates to win if the organization creates a unique competitive advantage that has not yet been capitalized upon by other organizations. Therefore, it is recommended that the choice of promoting a luxury brand with the emphasis on quality and unique health-related benefits should become the main aspect of (ABIL) Charles Chocolates’ business strategy in Trinidad and Tobago.

Reference List

Bekele, F. L. (2016). Rehabilitating the cocoa industry in Trinidad and Tobago. Web.

From bean to bar: a successful diaspora investment in cocoa. (n.d.). Web.

Grunert, K. G. (2019) ‘International segmentation in the food domain: Issues and approaches’, Food Research International, 115, pp. 311-318.

Jewell, C. (2017). Breathing new life into Trinidad and Tobago’s cocoa sector. WIPO. Web.

Kalam, K. K. (2020) ‘Market segmentation, targeting and positioning strategy adaptation for the global business of vodafone telecommunication company’, International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS), 4.

Nadube, P. M. and Didia, J. U. D. (2018) ‘Market targeting and strategic positioning’, International Journal of Marketing Research and Management, 8(1), pp. 32-45.

Trinidad & Tobago Fine Cocoa. (n.d.) Web.

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BusinessEssay. (2022, September 4). Associated Brands Industries Limited (ABIL) Charles Chocolates. Retrieved from https://business-essay.com/associated-brands-industries-limited-abil-charles-chocolates/

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BusinessEssay. (2022, September 4). Associated Brands Industries Limited (ABIL) Charles Chocolates. https://business-essay.com/associated-brands-industries-limited-abil-charles-chocolates/

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BusinessEssay. (2022) 'Associated Brands Industries Limited (ABIL) Charles Chocolates'. 4 September.

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BusinessEssay. 2022. "Associated Brands Industries Limited (ABIL) Charles Chocolates." September 4, 2022. https://business-essay.com/associated-brands-industries-limited-abil-charles-chocolates/.

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BusinessEssay. "Associated Brands Industries Limited (ABIL) Charles Chocolates." September 4, 2022. https://business-essay.com/associated-brands-industries-limited-abil-charles-chocolates/.