Asia and Rio’s picks for the week

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Venchi

If you are looking for high-end chocolate gift, or authentic gelato treat, you must go to Venchi.

Also, White Day is coming soon and besides Japan, other countries in Asia have adopted the tradition. Venchi is definitely an idea for the occasion. You beloved ones will appreciate you gifting them with such a refined choice.

SEE ALSO : This Valentine’s Day: go back to basic, give flowers

In 2019, Venchi celebrated the last month of the year, with the opening of 4 new chocogelateria boutiques, one in Berlin, two in Shanghai, bringing the number of stores in China to 26, and one in Tokyo in Ginza. The retail concepts represent the epitome of Italian lifestyle as they recreate the atmosphere of Italia coffeeshops and artisanal “gelateria” with a dedicated space for chocolate of any kind.

Source: Venchi

 

In 2019,  La Repubblica, an Italian media, reported that Venchi registered a turnover of Euro 100 mln, doubling the results of the previous year, with 33% from export, and whose 10% coming from China. With 350 different recipes for chocolate products, 90 gelato flavours, Venchi is the icon of Italian dolce vita in the world.

Retail in Asia had the pleasure to interview Daniele Ferrero, Chairman & CEO Venchi Spa. From the headquarters in Piedmont, Italy, he oversees the expansion of the gourmet chocolate brand that has been enchanting Asia consumers for its unique flavours, as a result of traditional recipes and the best ingredients.

Daniele-Ferrero-3
Source: Venchi

RiA: What is the story behind Venchi?

Daniele: We started a long time ago, in 1878, with Silviano Venchi, a 20-year-old from Turin who loved chocolate so much he spent all his savings on two bronze cauldrons and began to experiment, first in his apartment, then in a small place on Via degli Artisti in Borgo Vaniglia, Turin.

Today, there is no longer the royal coat of arms on the packaging, but the passion, meticulous care and courage to experiment remain. And so it was all of our imaginatively named chocolates were created: our Chocaviar, Truffles, Gianduiotti, Cremini, bars, Suprema spread, Gelato and Gourmet eggs.

Large Original-201906_GioMartorana_Fall16_Set_HR
Source: Venchi

 

All delicious, healthy, natural, made with the best ingredients and the best intentions: to look on the bright side and to live a long happy life that, if nothing else, is a little bit sweeter. ​

RiA: How has been the brand evolving throughout time?

Daniele: With 140 years of history, today we have international recognition with more than 350 chocolate recipes and 90 gelato flavours, we are in more than 70 countries in key cities like London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai and New York where we feature the biggest chocolate waterfall of all time.

On this journey towards international expansion, in 2019 we landed in Berlin, Shanghai and Tokyo in the name of beauty, joy and conviviality, transforming “Made in Italy” into “Experienced like in Italy” and exceeding 120 shops worldwide! ​

RiA: What is the current status of expansion in Asia?

Daniele: We currently have 30+ stores across China, Hong Kong,  Macau, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

In our business expansion plan APAC will be the key market that will drive Venchi’s growth with the opening of several new stores reaching 100 stores in 5 years.

RiA: 2019 has been a year of success with several openings across different markets. What would you consider your biggest achievement for the past year?

Daniele: In less than one month we have opened our first store in Berlin, inside the luxury department store KaDeWe, two new stores in Shanghai: one in Xintiandi and the other inside ITC Mall. Last but not least our first store in Ginza, Tokyo which is successfully overperforming!

Source: Venchi

We also started Duty Free Business with an online presence with Bluebell Group, our partner also in Singapore since 2015.

RiA: How does the country of origin/Made in Italy label have an impact on Venchi’s brand positioning in Asia?

Daniele: Italy is not only our country of origin but also part of our brand value. In fact our products is not just “made in Italy” for its ingredients, but in our chocogelateria all over the world people can live a true Italian experience: beauty, joy, conviviality and certainly quality excellence.

RiA: How is it reflected in Venchi’s retail concept around the world?

Daniele: In our boutiques you can breathe the Italian atmosphere thanks to the elegant, creative and colourful design, but also through our philosophy and product storytelling.

RiA: What is your customer profile across markets and how do you engage them?

Daniele: The 70% of our customers are female, between 25 and 45 years old and they love to have a little sweet moment of pleasure everyday. We engage them through a consistent yet localized customer experience and digital marketing.

RiA: How do you use digital to target young generations of consumers?

Daniele: Through our social media channels we try to create engagement and keep our chocolate-enthusiast fanbase updated on new products and campaigns.

RiA: What are the plans for Venchi for 2020 and the coming years?

Daniele: Our mission is to bring the Italian experience of Venchi Gelato and chocolate to the world, transforming every simple encounter into a moment of sharing and celebration.

2020 is going to be very exciting! We will open our first Flagship Store in Paris, inside the iconic Carrousel du Louvre: 220 square meters of pure pleasure!

In US we aim to triple our presence in NYC with 2 more openings in Manhattan, after the successful opening in Broadway in 2018.

For what concerns store openings in Asia, we have in plan 6 new openings in Greater China and 3 more openings in Japan, where we started last December.

In addition, we will start our Indonesian operations with 3 new openings in Jakarta: the first one in May, at Plaza Indonesia.

China will be leading our mid-term Asian growth and we aim to establish a network of over 40 stores in the next 3 years, from the current 20.

We are still seeking new business opportunities in Hong Kong as well, despite the turbulent environment, certainly at commercial conditions that reflect the current environment: we still believe Hong Kong could represent an attractive and profitable market given its local spending power,  its population and average income and the notorious inclination to premium imported products.

We don’t forget that Hong Kong has been our first market in Asia, back in 2011, and we aim to consolidate our presence on a long term perspective.

SEE ALSO : New Ruby chocolate products launched in Japan

We are looking forward to be announcing news about Venchi for 2020. And we know that something is coming soon!

 

*Bluebell Group is the owner of Retail in Asia

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