The magic cup
Famous for its expertly crafted chocolate cups, Noble Chocolates has helped spread the reputation of Belgian chocolate around the globe
With its self-confessed moral obligation to preserve Belgium’s reputation for producing the finest chocolates in the world, Noble Chocolates strives to astonish each and every one of its customers by revising their perceptions of refined taste: “The company was established in 2000 by Patriek Destrooper, a well known figure within the Belgian confectionery industry, with over 25 years of experience,” explains Joey Dierick, export manager of Noble Chocolates.
“The company was built on the back of the idea to make and sell a unique chocolate product, shaped in the form of a cup. From the very beginning Noble Chocolates has made a dedicated effort to attend exhibitions and shows in countries throughout the world in order to showcase its range, and in the last decade it has been the recipient of numerous awards, most notably the SIAL trade fair ‘trends & innovations’ Award. Today, Noble Chocolates is exporting to 46 different countries around the world, with particular demand coming from the US, Asia, Europe and China, which is a rapidly emerging market for the company,” Joey continues.
Noble Chocolates’ products can be separated into two distinct categories, its important private label range and its retail range, yet its chocolate cups come in many different forms, catering to various tastes. The company’s first foray into the chocolate market was the Cantabile line, an assortment of five soft centred cups boasting the tastes of champagne, praline, mocha, caramel and pistachio that remains the most successful item in the vast majority of the countries where Noble Chocolates can be found.
The Julietta range brings together the most exquisite almond and hazelnut mixes, as does the Noble’s Collection assortment. The Originals box set showcases more exotic flavours, including cinnamon, coconut and vanilla, while Noble Fruits places orange, blueberry, lemon, raspberry and forest fruit fillings at the heart of a decadent chocolate shell. The company also has its own take on a Spirits selection which, unlike most traditional liqueur chocolates are not liquid filled, rather they incorporate only a dash of cointreau, whisky, amaretto, kirsch or coffee liquid in order to enrich an already sumptuous chocolate experience.
“Noble Chocolates makes a concerted effort to launch a brand new product each year, one that is unique and highlights the company’s innovative prowess. In 2010 it launched a Crispy Cup box, nine crispy chocolate cups with an extremely delicious filling and an entire hazelnut in the middle.
This inventive product has its very own corner of the market, making it a particularly popular line,” Joey says. “For 2012 the company is specifically targeting a product that is influenced by the Easter holiday and fills a gap it has noticed in the market that falls between the months of January and May every year. Noble Eggs, as this new range will be called, are beautiful, elegant and stylish creations which, like everything the company produces, stay true to the original chocolate
The magic cup
This cup design and the intricate process that goes into creating the company’s chocolates are at the heart of what has made Noble Chocolates so successful and well respected throughout the industry: “The single greatest strength the company possesses is its end product,” Joey enthuses. “These chocolate cups are unique and unrivalled in terms of quality. This is achieved by selecting only the finest natural ingredients that come together to create a very high-end finished product, one that makes Noble Chocolates stand out amongst the seemingly endless number of chocolate producing businesses in Belgium. A particularly good barometer of its success is the fact that Noble Chocolates has a very strong position in Switzerland. The Swiss approach to chocolate is very different to that of other countries, even Belgium, making what the company has achieved there even more remarkable and impressive.”
By structuring the business in such a way that it has been able to reach out to both existing and potential customers in countries throughout the world, Noble Chocolates has managed to not only weather the storm caused by the financial crisis, but actually increase its revenues year-on-year, a trend that Joey expects to continue in 2012: “With the Noble Eggs being launched to capitalise on the Easter period the expectation is that next year will bring with it a further increase in company turnover.
This, however, isn’t just achieved through new product launches, it also comes as a result of investment in the best possible machinery, the best processes and the best people. When you combine this with the outlook the company has for its export potential going forward, 2012 indeed looks set to be another very good year for Noble Chocolates.”