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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Şölen Çikolata and Walmart

Şölen Çikolata is one of the fastest growing chocolate companies in Turkey. They broke into Walmart and as a result experienced a dramatic increase in their sales (and exports). Here is the story:

Turkish chocolate company Şölen Çikolata, based in Gaziantep, 682 kilometers southeast of the capital, has been grabbing attention from global giants with its exports to 120 countries around the globe and high growth in the domestic market.

“We have received some partnership offers from foreigners. Almost all the big chocolate firms around the world sent in their offers. We cannot know what the time will show, however we currently are not interested in those offers,” said Elif Çoban, member of the company's executive board, who did not reveal the names of the foreign firms. “Our priority is to become a global brand as a Turkish firm. We believe in ourselves,” she added.

Şölen Çikolata, which grew 35 percent in exports and 40 percent in the domestic market in the first part of the year, expects to implement exports worth $135 million to $140 million by the end of the year. The company is also aiming for YTL 280 million in turnover. Meanwhile, the chocolate sector in the country grew only 4 percent since the beginning of the year, said Çoban.

“Last year we were exporting to 100 countries. This year that number rose to 120,” said Çoban. Within the framework of the support received by the Turquality Project, launched in 2003 to provide financial and managerial support for Turkish companies working on establishing global brands, Şölen designated 25 new countries to export to, she added.

Şölen managed to enter Brazil, Argentinia and Latin America, as Wal-Mart, a U.S.-based discount department store, began to sell the chocolate firm's products on its shelves in 2007. (more)