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Chocolate and Confectionery Industry Pakistan

Confectionery and Chocolate industry of Pakistan in 2009 is an analysis of branded (domestically produced) confectionery and chocolate market of Pakistan. The article reveals close estimates of sales turn over of major active players in the industry. It also examines contemporary trends in the local confectionery and chocolate market, with an emphasis on providing some useful information about the structure, norms, challenges and competitive landscape of the industry. Before proceeding to our core topic, it would not be unwise to have a look at the snapshot of country’s socio-economic indicators.

Pakistan- Snapshot:
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a medium size, densely populated country with over 170 million people living in 796,095 square kilometres. With respect to population and area, Pakistan stands at no. 7 and no.43 respectively among the nations of the world. It is located at Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea, between India on the east and Iran and Afghanistan on the west and China in the north.

Pakistan, an impoverished and underdeveloped country, has suffered from decades of internal political disputes, low levels of foreign investment, and declining exports of manufactures. Faced with untenable budgetary deficits, high inflation, and haemorrhaging foreign exchange reserves.

During 2004-07 GDP growth has been within the range of 6-8%. Inflation remains the top concern among the public, jumping from 7.7% in 2007 to 20.8% in 2008, primarily because of rising world fuel and commodity prices. In addition, the Pakistani rupee has depreciated significantly as a result of political and economic instability.

Confectionery and Chocolate Industry – An overview:

Despite Pakistan’s confectionery and chocolate industry has enjoyed an emerging and growing trend in the recent past yet its size and growth pattern has been far inconsequential compared to other countries of Asia-pacific region. The industry has grown with an average annual rate of 6.5 to 7.5 % during 2002-2008. Domestic brands dominate the market accounting for more than 85% of total value sales of the industry.

The industry as a whole can be divided between two broader sectors namely organized sector (branded segment) and un-organized sectors (generic segment). The branded segment is more of monopolistic in nature where there are nine prominent, active players in the competitive landscape of this sector. However 80% of the industry’s share is being enjoyed by the five companies listed below. A brief overview of major companies’ estimated annual sales in PKR (1 US$= 83 PKR) is as follows:

Company name, Major Product lines, Major brands Estimated annual turn-over PKR.(1US$=83PKR), Share %
Hilal Candy, Bubble, Jellies, Chocolates, Beans, powder Drinks, Supari Ding Dong Bubble, Fresh up bubble, Tulsi, AamRus, Kopra candy Limopani
3.5 billion 26% Share

Ismail Industries Ltd.(Candyland) Jellies, candies, lollypops, Chocolates, Biscuits, Snacks etc. Chillimili, Fanty candy, Now, Bisconi Chocolito, Cocomo, Snack city, Sonnet
2.8 billion 21% Share

B.P sweets
Jellies, candies, lollypops, Chocolates, Biscuits, Bread, Snacks etc. Spacer, Dolphin Jellies, B.P Lollies, Dream Chocolates etc.
1.7 billion 13% Share

Chocolates(Countlines and Moulded) Toffees, Chewable mint candies Dairy Milk Chocolate, Éclairs, Softmint, Velvet
1.5 billion 11% Share

Bubbles candies, lollypops, Chocolates etc. 4ever, Centro-bubble, Lollies, Punch candy, Chox
1.20 billion 9% Share

Candies, Toffees, Creamers, Amrood candy, Éclair, Cafe biscuit
0.8 billion 6% Share

Mitchell’s(only Confectionery & Chocolates)
Groceries ( Squashes, Jams, sauces, Chocolates- Moulded and Countlines , Toffees and candies Milk Toffee, Fruit BonBon, Butter Scotch, Jubilee, Golden Hearts
0.70 billion 5% Share

Bubble Gum, Lolly Pops, Candies Chini mini, Fresh’ O bubble, Choco Bisco, Milko Sip
0.70 billion 5% Share

Sweet Hills
Candies, Toffees Dr. Milk, NutKut, Love candy , Cow 0.50 billion 4% Share
TOTAL 13.4 Billion PKR

Confectionery and Chocolate Market – An overview

The branded confectionery and chocolate market is highly price elastic and growing with the bulk of sales concentrated in mid-price range products. Urban markets account for the major share and also for a higher penetration rate. Various retail price points exist within the mass market segment of chocolates between the range of PKR 3-25. In Sugar Confectionery major running confectionery items fall into the retail price segment of Rs. 0.50-1.00. The efforts made for the induction of Rs.2 Confectionery unit by industry giants have gone into vain so far. However Rs. 2 and 3 are popular price points for lolly pops and chocolates range. The industry has faced “coin-barrier” issue in sugar confectionery products at least three times during last three decades when all key players unanimously agreed to increase their products’ price due to escalating prices of raw materials (first from 25 paisa to 50 paisa- in mid 80’s, than 50 paisa to Rs. 1 – in mid 90’s and lastly from Rs.1 to Rs.2-in late 2008) whereby the active players of the industry were compelled to raise their prices not less than any thing but 100% because next jump to coin / price denomination was such that they had no way out. It would be interesting for the readers to learn that such moves however have always been proved to be a “bitter pill” for the industry as it brought immense resistance from consumers and trade. In some of the cases decline in sales as a reaction of price increase was so huge that it forced to leading brands to take their decision back yet they were not able to retrieve their original volumes again. Mitchell’s Milk Toffees and Kidco 4ever are classic examples. To avoid and defer this situation (up to last extend) pro-active companies in Pakistani confectionery industry adopt three kinds of strategies , without reducing or with slightly reducing trade margins. Namely reduce the no. of units per pack, unit size, and packaging ( in an endeavour to reduce cost) Compromising in product quality by reducing qty and/or quality of expensive raw material by using close substitute that is available relatively at cheaper price as a replacement of expensive raw materials.

Distribution and Selling strategy: About (70-80) % sugar confectionery and chocolate sales generate through wholesale channel depending upon the nature of product and strategies of manufacturing companies. Almost all but precisely Hilal and B.P rely much on wholesale channel to generate bulk chunk of their total sales. To support their sales through this channel they advertise heavily on electronic media to create brand pull for their brands and subsequently it force retailers to buy these brands from whole sale. The underlying reason behind limited coverage in retail sector by these two companies is they do not have premium priced items that could yield sufficient revenues to make retail distribution viable for their distribution partners so they do a limited coverage in retail sector. Since these companies themselves do not emphasize on retail penetration so their distributors also take an escape route and adopt the way of easy selling through WS. However there are companies like Cadbury, Candyland, Mitchell’s and Mayfair that are fully aware of the importance of retail penetration .Hence these companies pay due importance and attention to retail coverage and subsequently allocate resources for retail sector. As stated earlier the emphasis of Hilal and B.P has always been on building consumer pull through mass media advertising ( mostly through television) and pushing their brands through wide-spread network of distributors and wholesalers throughout the nation . This combination of “Push & Pull “ has proved to be a successful tool in their cases because the nature of their brands also support this strategy as they produce products of mass market with as low price as Rs.1 , 2 and beyond. Because of this pricing strategy their products are equally popular in rural and urban towns among middle and lower middle class. B.P and Hilal having this advantage enjoy the benefits of a wide-spread distribution network in 300+ towns and over 350 distributors nation wide (as they have more than one distributors in some towns). They always try to adopt cost leadership strategy and generate revenues through high volumes of sales. Frequent launches, re-launches, re-introduction of old brands with slight modifications, withdrawals, adjustments in packaging, product designing and even recipe change are a common phenomenon in the brands of these two major companies. Contrary to this Cadbury’s , Candyland and Mitchell’s believe on establishing brands and brand equity and therefore protraction of quality up to last possible extend remains their top priority.

Popular Brands , Price point and Trades’ margins:
Popular Brands:

In hard-boiled (candy) category: Price range 0.50 paisa-Re.1: Fanty (Candyland), AamRus (Hilal), Choran Chatni (Hilal), Kopra candy (Hilal), 4ever (Kidco), Butter Scotch (Candyland) and (Mitchell’s), Amrood (Mayfair), Creamers (Mayfair) and Fruit Bonbons (Mitchell’s) are famous brands.

In soft-boiled (Toffees) category: Price range 0.50 paisa-Re.1: Spacer (B.P) – a brand of 450- 500 million PKR, Milk Toffee (Mitchell’s)- brand worth over 250 million PKR and Éclairs (Cadbury’s) can be ranked top three among others in this category.

As of today (August 2010) there hardly exist any 50 paisa confectionery unit, those that were available, have been switched to Rs.1 price point.
In Lolly Pops: Price range Re.2- Rs.3/- : twin-lolly (B.P), Paint n Pop (B.P), Kidco Pop (Kidco), Funny Bunny (Candyland) are popular among consumers.

In Enrobed Chocolate category: Price range Re.1- Rs.5/- : Jubilee (Mitchell’s), 5 Star ( Cadbury) Perk (Cadbury’s), Now (Candyland), Dream (B.P), Choco Dip (B.P), Kat Kat (B.P) Unitee (Mitchell’s), Sonnet (Candyland), Luxuree (Mitchell’s), Chox (Kidco) and Paradise (Candyland) enjoy major share in the market.

In Moulded Chocolate category: Price range Re.2- Rs.10/- :Dairy Milk (Cadbury’s), Cone (B.P), Mr. Bear (B.P) Twin Rabbit (B.P), Golden Hearts ( Mitchell’s), Velvet (Cadbury’s) are famous among other brands.

In Bubble: Rs.1: Ding Dong (Hilal) in Rs. 1 and recently launched in Rs. 2 as well. The brand has worth about 1000 million PKR, Fresh Up (Hilal) – retail Rs.5/-, Tiger (Mayfair) and Kidco Bubble, Centro (Kidco) are leading brands.

Though retailer’s margin varies from companies to companies and product to product but generally acceptable margin in local items for retail trade is between 15-25%. It is lower for fast-moving brands and higher in the case of slow-moving items.

Drivers, Challenges and Key Trends:

Until mid 80’s chocolates was supposed to be the product of upper and upper middle class segment. In 1983 Mitchell’s Jubilee was launched first time in Pakistani market at Rs.3.50 per bar. Due to its attractive packaging, quality, affordable price and an intact media support the brand received un-matched reception and became a success story in Pakistani industry. The brand is still very popular among masses and available in three different price points at Rs.2, Rs.5 and Rs.10. In early 2000 Cadbury’s introduced quality products with affordable price. The launch of Dairy Milk (Rs.5/-), 5 Star (Rs.5/-), Velvet (Rs.5/-) and Perk (Rs.3) with attractive dispensing-chillers was the turning and revolutionary point for making chocolates the choice for every one. The role of Cadbury’s for expansion of chocolate market in Pakistan will always be written in golden words.


The most common challenges to this industry are soaring prices of raw material, high excise and import duties on raw material, high entry barrier because of strong monopolistic competition and influx of cheap imported brand through gray-Channels.


Driven by marketing initiatives, consumer preferences are speedily changing in the favour of chocolates. Independent retailers and wholesalers are still the largest channel contributors however the role of International modern trade (Makro, Metro and HyperStar) is growing at the increasing rate. Foreign or imported brands are successfully targeting the

Lucrative premium segments in urban population. Nestle has recently revamp their sales and distribution management system through appointment of one of the leading distribution house in Pakistan. Large retailers and wholesalers have already started private imports by paying less import duties through tax evasions. The largest bakery and confectionery chain of Lahore is also considering for launching their own chocolate brands in a bid to grow their private label sales. Keeping these positive signs in mind one could expect that future of Chocolate and Confectionery market of Pakistan is promising.