Accounting for more than 76% of global sales in 2020, Europe is the world’s largest chocolate producer and exporter. The European chocolate market was valued at €46 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at an average annual rate of around 2.2% between 2021 and 2026, making it one of Europe's most cherished gifts to the world.

A season of sweetness

A season of sweetness

Happiness is just a box of chocolates away, and it is that time of the year again when shelves packed with new and colourful boxes ring in the holiday spirit. Although the chocolate market saw sales dip during the pandemic, people across the globe are now reinventing how they consume their much-loved comfort food. Consumers are seeking better quality cocoa in higher amounts in their chocolate. Rising demand and the growing popularity of dark and organic chocolates mean the shelves must always remain stocked before Santa comes to town. And 2020 and its aftermath have highlighted the need to be prepared for disruptions. That is why European chocolate makers are adopting proactive approaches to optimise their supply chain within operational constraints.

Handle with care

Handle with care

Raw cocoa belongs to the ‘most sensitive’ category of cargo. It needs to be protected from unfavourable external factors as it can easily absorb moisture. Typically, it takes about 26 days on a ship, covering 5,919 miles, for raw cocoa from Ghana to reach a production unit in Europe, with multiple halts and warehousing changes in between. There’s a lot that can go wrong in the process. Unexpected temperature fluctuations or supply chain disruptions can make the cocoa unusable on arrival. Cocoa production has also taken a hit in places like Ghana due to rough weather causing output fluctuations that may not meet market demand. While chocolate manufacturers cannot control the weather, they can offset tough times by optimising business potential.

Whether it’s volatile cocoa prices, rising energy costs or fierce competition, visibility is the key to ensuring businesses satisfy every sweet tooth.

A sweet aftertaste

A sweet aftertaste

The pandemic, and the global supply chain disruptions that came along with it, have forever changed the rules of global trade. They have unleashed the untapped potential of digital innovation to help businesses become more data-driven and ultimately, more agile. Supply chain visibility plays a crucial role in improving efficiency, reducing operational costs, improving inventory management, and increasing speed to market. While some present-day supply chain solutions provide visibility, with multiple logistics parties involved, data is still very fragmented. Integration is heavily dependent on stakeholders providing information manually, and therefore real-time decision making is not yet the norm.

To truly integrate, logistics teams will need to accelerate their digital transformation, implement technologies that continuously monitor systems and processes, and glean meaningful insights from this new data-driven approach.

Here’s how Maersk can help

According to a report published in Gartner, successful price optimisation and management implementation can increase margins by 50 basis points or more and increase your revenue by 2-4%. With Maersk, you can sync your chocolate supply chain from start to finish. By incorporating real-time tracking and monitoring solutions, you can take control of each stage of your shipment and optimise supply chain flows.

Maersk NeoNav breaks down silos and connects people, processes, and technologies to provide chocolate manufacturers end-to-end visibility, real-time intelligence, and the confidence to make smarter decisions. You can also utilise our analytics tools to make better, quicker business decisions in response to peak season disruptions. In addition to our technology solutions, our people bring industry expertise and commitment to every interaction, helping companies manage relationships at every stage of the supply chain, especially during festivities. Because we know that the holidays won’t be as sweet without your chocolates.

Contact us to know how Maersk visibility solutions can make your holidays sweeter.

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