Zotter Chocolate: Creating a Market in China

Case Solution

Shameen Prashantham, Liman Zhao
China Europe International Business School ()

This case describes the entry of the Austrian chocolate manufacturer Zotter Chocolate into the Chinese market. There are several things that make this company stand out: it is a small family business from Austria that produces a wide range of unconventional chocolate flavors. It prides itself on organic and fair trade and has attracted many loyal customers and visitors to its “chocolate factory” at its headquarters in Bergl, Austria. After successfully entering the German market, an “obvious” target for an Austrian company, founder Josef Zotter and his family considered where to go in 2010. After comparing the US and Chinese chocolate markets, Zotter Chocolate chose China as the first major non-European market. The case shows how Zotter was looking for a local partner in Shanghai and decided to enter the market with an “experience-based” offering at its first chocolate factory outside of its local market under the leadership of founding daughter Julia. The case also presents its innovations and its learning process. The case ends Julia’s main concerns about Zotter China’s next move when she has to leave China for Zotter Chocolate’s headquarters in Austria in August 2017.

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