A Political Aspect Of The Macro Environment Regarding The Chocolate Market

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A political aspect of the macro-environment regarding the chocolate market in New Zealand is policies regarding the import of ingredients required for making chocolate. Cocoa beans are on the list of Prohibited or Restricted Imports, according to New Zealand’s Customs and Excise Act, 1996 (, 2015). This is a market factor that is important to Whittakers as a brand because as they produce all of their chocolate from imported cocoa beans in their New Zealand factory, they must comply with these restrictions and pay the appropriate tax on importing their cocoa beans. Changes to this legislation pose a threat to Whittakers, as a potential increase on tax on cocoa beans will mean that the cost total cost of producing chocolate will be higher for the company, meaning they may have to increase the retail price of their products. This may cause price conscious consumers to look elsewhere for products that suit them better financially and will lose sales for Whittakers.

As the call for cacao increases globally, the price of cacao is also increasing at a rapid rate as cocoa growers in Africa and South America struggle to meet the demand, which is an extremely relevant aspect of the macro-environment for the chocolate market. Many factors contribute to the supply problem- many cocoa growers in Africa, particularly the Ivory Coast (the world’s biggest cocoa-producing nation) are underpaid, and their share in the profit of chocolate products is increasing, with West African cocoa growers seeing earning on average 3.5% to 6.4% of the total retail value of the products (The Guardian, 2013). This results in less productive workers, and is also resulting in a decrease in the number of emerging cocoa famers, as it is often no lo...

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...his has the potential to increase sales for Whittakers as consumers want to experience this smoother, more refined chocolate.

It is becoming increasingly important to consumers to know that the products they are purchasing are produced in an environmentally friendly manner, and a large focus of this is supporting chocolate companies which do not use palm oil in their production. Palm oil production is being held as one of the biggest industries responsible for deforestation globally, posing threats to wildlife, and consumers were made particularly aware of this in 2010 when Cadbury replaced cocoa butter with palm oil. This increase in awareness from consumers is an opportunity to Whittakers, as the brand is committed to being palm oil free, making Whittakers appealing to consumers on an environmentally friendly level, and possibly increasing sales for the company.
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