Our Student Enterprise class went to Vosges Haut Chocolat. We investigated their marketing and sales strategy. Vosges is a unique competitor in the chocolate industry because they have created an innovative chocolate experience for people. The mission of Vosges is to “travel the world through chocolate”. They have a positive outlook for the next two years because their income has an expected growth in millions of dollars.
Part of Vosges appeal is that they accommodate many dietary restrictions: there is a vegetarian, organic, and kosher line. Through that method, Vosges’ target market can include many people. When the founder, Katrina, started, she had a particular customer in mind: Sophie. She would be an open-minded girl who was eager to try new things. Having this type of customer in mind led Vosges to create diverse products. Their products are primarily chocolate deserts. Katrina has taken her experiences from around the world to include the flavors she has tried into the chocolates. The chocolates are made with surprising combinations of ingredients (such as curry, grains of paradise, and olive oil) and have a consistent quality of delicacy. This type of innovation invites many people who want a new experience with their deserts.
The greatest demand for Vosges chocolates comes in their last quarter, the holiday season. People demand chocolate much more during Christmas-time. Vosges is very considerate of their employees with this situation. Not as many employees are necessary to meet demand in the other quarters. The change of pace determines how many people Vosges will have working. Therefore, Vosges hires people as temporary workers to avoid the process of firing and re-hiring people. Ninety-percent of the people that are hired as temporary workers accept the invitation to come back to Vosges. The model of employment is a thoughtful strategy to benefit both employer and employee.
Vosges works under special circumstances when it comes to their channels of distribution. They do not put preservatives in their chocolate, so it is necessary to sell what they produce. Vosges carefully plans out their production and promotion to keep the chocolates from expiring. Vosges has settled down and plans on keeping their base in Chicago, Illinois. Therefore, they also know their environment well. They have two shops located within the O’Hare airport. It is a strategic location because people see the high-end shop and are attracted to buying a small desert gift for themselves or whomever they plan on seeing. At the moment, they are particularly trying to meet the demand for the Japanese market. Vosges is in a tricky position to meet this demand because their products have a short expiration time frame.
Part of Vosges promotion is their presentation of the products. The boxing and decoration is given particular care. As a brand, Vosges has an instantly recognizable look: it is bohemian and delicate at the same time. The look reflects Katrina’s personality and thoughtfulness to appeal to the senses and spirituality of people.
Vosges has become a well-known company with a reputation for quality and a clear healthy message. It was a positive educational experience for our Student Enterprise class to learn about marketing and sales strategy.