Filipino cocoa company targets young consumers with ‘healthiest hot chocolate’


Where the hot chocolate most consumers are used to comes in powder form, tablea is hot chocolate that comes in tablet form – it’s made from 100% cocoa beans which are roasted, crushed, molded. and refrigerated in tablet form, then sold in tablet form.

“Tablea contains natural cocoa butter which emerges and liquefies when grinding cocoa beans.The founder of cocoa cultivation, Kenneth Reyes-Lao, said FoodNavigator-Asia.

“Tablea is the healthiest form of hot chocolate on the market because it contains all of the natural components that make chocolate good, such as antioxidants and flavonols, but none of the sweet or artificial components that accompany others such as Milo which is basically cocoa powder, sugar and powdered milk.

“With tablea, consumers can melt their hot chocolate bars with whatever sweeteners or milk they want, in the amounts they want, so that artificial sugars can be replaced with healthier alternatives like stevia; or better yet, if the taste of chocolate is all they are looking for, they can just drink the table as is.

Tablea is considered a very traditional drink in the Philippines and has seen increasing popularity in recent times due to increasing consumer demand for healthier drink options.

“A lot of young consumers are looking for healthier alternatives, so to market this group we have also made an effort to incorporate a younger branding and design into our packaging, as well as focusing on promotion. of our products via social networks. media,”said Reyes-Lao.

“The Philippines is also a very young country – the average age of the population is only 24 – so it makes sense to target a younger population. That said, we certainly look at this in other aspects such as middle and upper socio-economic class consumers, and a predominantly female market, as women are the gatekeepers in making healthier food choices for their families here.

“The message that has certainly worked the best is to position the table as a healthier alternative to hot chocolate, especially with the ongoing pandemic making people much more aware of their food and drink choices.”

Before the pandemic hit, Cacao Culture supplied most major shopping malls and airports, but has chosen to focus on e-commerce for now after seeing that around 90% of its business has found its way online.

The company’s table can be found on its online site and other e-commerce platforms such as Shopee and Lazada, retailing at PHP95 (US $ 1.91) for a 72g pack, PHP165 (3.32 US $) for a 144g pack, PHP525 (US $ 10.57) for a 500g pack or PHP 1000 (US $ 20.14) for a 1kg pack.


Cacao Culture also offers a variety of chocolate products, and Reyes-Lao observed that the health trend persists in this category as well, with many consumers showing a preference for dark chocolate with lower sugar content than before.

“I would say that 70% cocoa chocolates are currently the most common safety zone consumers are comfortable with right now – there are some who like even darker chocolates, but 70% is the more common. “he said.

“We are also seeing that Davao’s cocoa beans are becoming more and more popular as they have won several international awards in recent years, so this is good for the Philippines, and there are also many consumers looking for chocolates. vegans, which are still very rare in the local market and are an area in which we want to experiment.

During the pandemic, Cacao Culture also created a line of Nama chocolate truffle products, hyperlocated for the city of Davao where they are based, to cater to consumers looking for a taste of Japan.

“In the absence of authorized travel, we found that many consumers craved chocolates that they could obtain from other countries. So we decided to recreate Nama chocolates from Japan to fill this gap. The sales of this one were hyperlocalized because they are very sensitive to the temperature ”,he said.

“Logistics and temperature have been a really big challenge as we process chocolates and move around an archipelago – but we actually solved this dilemma (for other products besides Nama) by inventing our own shape. packing with insulating foam which prevents melting and other kinds of damage.

“The even more important advantage is that we can now transport a large part of our products even without using the cold chain, which also saves costs. “

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