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Chocolate firm eyes Gulf markets

A small UK chocolate company has big ambitions in the Middle East.

La Trinity Chocolates, a UK company that markets speciality Belgian and Swiss chocolates, visited Dubai in May to explore business opportunities in the region.

The company was part of business delegation led by UK Trade and Investment, an organisation that aims to promote the interests of UK businesses.

Kim Augustin, managing director, La Trinity Chocolates, is optimistic that her company’s range of chocolates and sweets, which include sugar free products, could sell well in the region. “I am not exporting at the moment. I am here to get a feel for the place, to look for potential clients and perhaps look at opening stores in our own name,” Augustin said.

“We sell most of our products on the Internet at the moment but with regard to the sugar-free products we have had a huge presence in the UK and want to get into outlets such as Harrods and Harvey Nichols.”

La Trinity Chocolates is looking to market its products through various channels, including retail, the food service sector and the hospitality industry. As part of her fact-finding mission, Augustin visited some of Dubai’s malls, looking for outlets that could sell the company’s products, and also checking for potential competition.

After discovering that the UAE does not appear to have many specialist chocolate shops, Augustin is optimistic that there could be a niche for La Trinity Chocolates. “I visited all of the malls and one thing I noticed is that they don’t have actual chocolate shops,” Augustin said. “Even the duty free shops did not have a big presence of luxury chocolates.”

La Trinity Choclates was founded in 2004 with the aim of selling high quality and speciality chocolates, including products suitable for diabetics. The company’s chocolates are also healthier than many mainstream products by being free from hydrogenated fats and other additives.

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