A sense of humour and some design prowess can get you a long way. In fact, for Kiwi-founded and now London-based designer chocolate bar company Bloomsberry & Co, it can take you all the way from New Zealand to the UK, and beyond.
Having already experienced significant growth into overseas markets including Australia, the USA, Germany and Ireland, its quirky Easter range of chocolate bar designs has found its way into fashionable UK retailer TopShop.
TopShop have housed the Bloomsberry range of chocolates for some time now, but getting its Easter range in the stores is something Bloomsberry co-founder and managing director Vanessa Kettelwell describes as “a fantastic creative opportunity”.
Kettelwell founded the company with her graphic designer husband Giles Barker, who’s had a creative hand in the Bloomsberry range of designs.
The designs, ranging form the slightly naughty to the very witty, come from the New Zealand range of Easter chocolate, and Kettelwell says Bloomsberry had a hunch that TopShop would “get it” when it comes to the Easter designs.
“We had success with them in the past with Valentines and also Emergency Chocolate so we thought we were in with a chance.”
Kettelwell says they pitched the ‘Do these ears make me look fat’ design and fortunately, TopShop loved not only that design, but the rest of the designs in the range.
“It pretty much sums up what we are about as a brand,” says Kettelwell. “We have a strong female focus and combine a sense of fun with modern design and nice chocolate. The result should work well for TopShop and their customers which is exactly what we hoped for.”
With the chocolate market already jam-packed, Kettelwell says humour is what gives its range an edge.
Describing it as “very light and silly”, Kettelwell says women in Britain have a similar sense of humour.
”Telling jokes and funny stories is a key part of the culture over here so we fitted right in.”
Beyond TopShop, large supermarket chain Tesco has also recently listed Bloomsberry’s Emergency Chocolate into 498 of its stores.
And just in time for the royal wedding, UK department store Harvey Nichols has listed Bloomberry’s Queen Bar exclusively. Bloomsberry have also just launched its new Emergency tin with the Department Store.
While success in the UK market has been sweet for Bloomsberry, it’s not without its challenges. Kettelwell points to the state of the economy in the UK, which is making store buyers more hesitant to try new products. Then there’s the falling value of the UK pound which makes importing difficult.
To overcome some of the currency issues, Kettelwell says the company has started sourcing as much of the product intended for the UK, from the UK.
“In doing so we have localised our packaging, carton printing, warehousng and distribution. All of which are helping to ease the massive margin pressure that we have experienced in the UK in particular.”