Gourmets & Co to present a ‘world of delights’ at TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference

Following a highly successful debut at TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference in 2023, Gourmets & Co will be returning to the TFWA show floor in Singapore with an installation that promises to offer a tantalising taste of its upcoming travel retail offerings. At the booth (located at stand F28 on Basement 2) visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the exquisite universe of Valrhona’s century-old craftmanship, Weiss’ French chocolate tradition and Villars’s legacy of creating Swiss chocolate masterpieces.

The Gourmets & Co concept was created specifically for the travel retail market and combines a commitment to a gourmet experience with a pledge to sustainable practices as evidenced by Valrhona’s B Corp certification. Having established a dedicated team in Singapore in 2022, Gourmets & Co has a firm focus on developing its position in the Asia Pacific region across both the travel retail and domestic markets.

The newly designed installation at Singapore will include a Valrhona-exclusive barista counter where indulgence meets innovation in every sip. Trained baristas will be on hand to guide delegates through a selection of iconic chocolate fèves (Valrhona’s chocolate drops from which the company makes its gourmet beverages), which will serve as the base for crafting boldly intense mochaccinos and frothy cappuccinos that demonstrate the versatility of Valrhona’s chocolate expertise. These delectable drinks invite visitors to savour the rich flavours of Valrhona.

In addition, a strong focus on gifting will feature at the booth, with a bespoke ‘Valrhona Gift Atelier’ giving visitors the chance to personalise a range of products such as the much-loved ‘15 Chocolate bonbons gift box’, ‘50 squares Dark gift box’ and ‘230g Almonds & Hazelnuts coated in Dark chocolate gift box’ to create the perfect present for family members, friends and loved ones. Customisation options on offer include personalised greeting cards, personalised ribbons, gift boxes and furoshiki, (a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth used to elegantly wrap gifts adding charm and sophistication to every present). The Gift Atelier is a creative and interactive space that offers an engaging experience demonstrating how to add a special touch to any gifting occasion.

Villars is set to preview exclusive packaging designs for its gifting range, tailored for the diverse markets of Asia Pacific. In homage to the local landscape, these sleeves will feature iconic cityscapes from Singapore, Hong Kong, and Bangkok, alongside special editions to commemorate festivals such as Diwali, Eid, and Lunar New Year. Through this initiative, Villars aims to deepen its connection with consumers and celebrate the rich cultural tapestry of the Asia Pacific region.

For those who want inspiration for choice, Valrhona will offer an interactive ‘Tasting Journey’. The ‘Find your Chocolate’ digital installation will walk buyers through the range of available products, guiding the customer based on their personal tastes towards the perfect indulgence. Visitors are invited to participate in a digital adventure, which can be accessed through interactive kiosks or mobile devices. Participants are asked about their flavour preferences, texture preferences, and any specific notes or ingredients they enjoy. Based on the responses, the digital journey utilises algorithms to narrow down the vast selection of Valrhona chocolates to a few perfectly tailored recommendations. Participants can then indulge in a tasting session where they sample their recommended chocolate.

When asked about the concept and Gourmets & Co’s presence at TFWA Singapore, global retail and travel retail director Zeyneb Larabi said; “Adapting to the Asian market and its dynamic landscape has been a cornerstone of our development journey. Asia, being a diverse and rapidly evolving region, demands a nuanced approach that constantly evolves to meet consumer preferences and market trends.

“One significant step we’ve taken is establishing a dedicated team leader; Dea Dhrami, based in Singapore. This decision was driven by the need to be closer to our clients and operators, allowing us to better understand their needs, preferences, and challenges first-hand. By having a local team on the ground, we’ve been able to forge stronger relationships with key stakeholders, respond more swiftly to market dynamics, and provide tailored support to our partners across the region.

“Our approach to navigating the Asian market with Valrhona and Villars has been rooted in a deep appreciation for diversity, a willingness to adapt quickly to change, and a commitment to collaborative innovation. These principles have allowed us to not only survive but thrive in one of the most dynamic regions in the world.”

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