Locally produced Davao chocolate to hit malls

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 16 Oct) – A local chocolate manufacturer has signed a distribution partnership with malls in the city after a good reception during the recently held Chocolate Festival here.

Francisco Gonzales, chief operating officer of Coco Dulce, told MindaNews that the initial distribution will hit the shelves of Gaisano Mall of Davao within the month.

He said the chocolate company will also be running a small booth at Abreeza Ayala Mall and is in negotiations with SM City Davao for additional spaces.

Coco Dulce was well received during September’s chocolate festival, according to Gonzales.

“In three days alone, we sold P100,000 worth of chocolates,” he said.

The rising chocolate manufacturer made waves at the SM City Annex in Ecoland, where the chocolate festival was held, as a healthy chocolate that uses coco sugar instead of synthetic sugar.

Gonzales said the low glycemic content in his product was a hit among the health-conscious customers, especially those who were suffering from diabetes.

Asked if there was a plan to expand outside the city and the country, Gonzales said he wanted to first perfect his niche locally before venturing into other markets.

Local demand for chocolates has made the news last year when public officials in the city said cacao farmers need to take advantage of a rising demand for cacao in markets such as Europe as awareness regarding “conflict chocolates” sourced from Africa is rising.

Last year, Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte said he has tasked the City Agriculturist’s Office to partner with cacao farmers for the distribution of seedlings and training regarding the raw material.

Gonzales, meanwhile, said he was primarily a coco sugar producer, with another partner supplying him with the other ingredients for the coco sugar chocolate.