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‘Our practices are certified to become India’s first USDA Organic & Fairtrade compliant chocolate’

Monday, July 9, 2018, 15:15 Hrs  [IST]

Pascati is a handful of chocolatiers in the world that controls every step of this art of fine chocolate making. Batch after batch of the finest cocoa beans sourced from select plantations are roasted, cracked, winnowed, conched, and tempered in a carefully controlled environment. Devansh Ashar, Partner, Pascati Chocolate in a one-on-one interaction with Lucy Fernandes, spoke about the brand’s future expansion plans. Q Pascati, being comparatively new, how is your journey so far and what has been the reception from the different market segment?
Our product has been on the shelf for two years now and it has been well accepted. The growth has been steady; we had a great response from Mumbai, Rishikesh and Cochin. We are available in a few stores in Bangalore & Hyderabad as well.

Q What is your focus on the institutional market, especially the hospitality sector? How have you been able to make a mark in the market?.
Our focus is on 30g small bars for the hotel industry. It is a good fit for organisations that are looking to include indigenous products. The chocolate bars are USDA organic certified, since a lot to guests are now conscious & aware of the kind of foods that they consume. The bars are also Fairtrade certified, which means we pay a premium for the crop (cacao beans) we buy which goes directly back to the farmer for the betterment of their community. This is all done in a transparent fashion, closely monitored by Fairtrade India. For hotels, this can be a part of their CSR. We are a part of several mini bars already, some of them include, Novotel Goa, LM Goa, W Goa and JW Marriott Juhu.



Q How Pascati as a brand is equipped to cater to customisation which is a quite important segment?
We are very well equipped to customise a client’s needs. Whether it is the amount or type of nuts or flavour which go into the bar, to manufacturing a chocolate under the hotel’s brand name & packaging.
Q What kind of distribution network does Pascati have in India? How do you plan to grow in the market?
Currently we have very few distributors in India, only Rishikesh & Cochin we have a distribution partners. For other cities, the orders are fulfilled directly. We plan to grow in a big way and are looking for like-minded partners and distributors to make Pascati readily & easily available to customers.

Q What are your future business and expansion plans?
We are in the midst of setting up a larger facility near Mumbai which increases our current manufacturing capacity ten folds. The facility will be ready by end of the year. We are looking to grow our portfolio of products which we offer to the hotel industry. We are also going to add eight additional flavoured bars over the period of one year which include frozen dried fruits. We are also going to start manufacturing of canned confections.
Q What are the challenges faced by you in the market and how are you coping with it?
Finding the right distributor is a challenge. There is a lot of trial and error and we have burnt our fingers with people not paying up on time. One other challenge is also shipment of goods in summer as chocolates tend to melt when kept above 310C.



Q Compared to the other branded chocolate products, where do you see Pascati chocolate as a brand in the market?
We are a bean to bar chocolate makers. There are a handful of quality chocolate makers in India. However, we are the only ones who are certified USDA Organic & Fairtrade.


lucy.fernandes@saffronsynergies.in

 
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