SOUTH AFRICA – Confectionary distributor, Swiss Diversitas has launched Spanish premium chocolate brand, Chocolates Valor in South Africa.

As one of Europe’s oldest and most acclaimed chocolatiers, Chocolates Valor’s history dates back to 1881, when Valeriano López Lloret founded the brand and gave the company its name and personality.

Valor’s traditional Premium chocolate bar range includes its 70% Intense Dark Chocolate, 85% Dark Sugar-Free Chocolate and Valor Creamy Milk Chocolate with Hazelnut with no added sugar.

Notably, Valor launched a range of sugar-free chocolates in the early 2000s, made using the natural sugar substitute Stevia.

Sugar-free variants have since become a core component of the Valor product offering, catering to diabetic or glucose-intolerant consumers as well as those on low-sugar diets becoming the top-selling sugar-free chocolate brand in Spain.

The 0% Sugar Added range has the same flavour and aroma as traditional Valor chocolates. Lactose-free options are also available.

The Chocolates Valor range will launch nationally through Dis-Chem, as well as select Checkers and Spar stores. The 100g chocolate slabs will sell for between R39.99 (US$2.73) and R42.99 each (US$2.94).

Speaking at the Chocolates Valor launch in Cape Town, Swiss Diveritas Group founder and director Nicolas Thoenen elaborated on the decision to introduce the brand to South African consumers.

“South Africa has a dynamic and diverse chocolate market, with offerings ranging from premium to entry-level.”

“The South African chocolate market has grown 10% every year, except for 2019 when it grew by 5%. Other markets could only dream of those numbers,” he said.

Valor products are now exported to roughly 50 countries around the world, with SA being the latest market entry.

The company’s original bean-to-bar production process uses fine raw ingredients sourced exclusively from the acclaimed cocoa-producing regions of Ecuador and Ghana.

Last year, Swiss Diversitas introduced yet another chocolate brand in the South African chocolate space with the launch of Doctor Chocolate.

With the tagline ‘Great Taste, Great Fun’, Doctor Chocolate launched into the local market with three unique product offerings: Doctor Chocolate Original 60g, a hazelnut spread in a unique syringe pack; Doctor Chocolate Magic 66g, a candy-coated praline; and Doctor Chocolate Chess 210g, milk and white chocolate chess pieces complete with a foldable chess board.

“Having been in the international market for over seven years – with a presence on three continents – we felt that the time was ripe to bring Doctor Chocolate to South Africa,” said Nicolas.

The South African chocolate market is worth over R5.5-billion (US$375m) having over 20 companies including major players such as Mondelez South Africa (Cadbury), Tiger Brands (Beacon), Nestle and Premier Foods (Manhattan).