Are you about starting a chocolate production company? If YES, here is a complete sample chocolate factory business plan template & FREE feasibility report. Starting a chocolate factory/chocolate production company means that you want to come up with a product that can be consumed by all and sundry. Your product will consist of chocolate molded with candy, fruit, nut or granola; chocolate bars, plain, chocolate coatings, cocoa powder and cocoa butter, liquor and syrup.

The fact that you want your products to compete with similar products in the market place means that you will follow due process before pushing your product to the market. If you are certain that you have a winning formula and a product that meets all the requirements, then you should consider launching your own chocolate factory.

If you have decided to start a chocolate factory, then you should make sure that you carry out thorough feasibility studies and market survey. Business plan is yet another very important business document that you should not take for granted when launching your business. Below is a sample chocolate factory business plan that will help you successfully launch your own business.

A Sample Chocolate Factory Business Plan Template

1. Industry Overview

Players in the Chocolate Production industry primarily engage in the processing of cacao beans, milk, sugar and other ingredients into chocolate-based confectionery, including chocolate bars and chocolate molded with nuts, fruit or granola. Industry products are then distributed to wholesalers, retailers and other intermediaries for resale to consumers.

If you are conversant with happenings in the chocolate production industry, you will agree that in time past, the industry has benefited from trends including improving disposable incomes and greater demand for premium chocolate.

However, other trends, including volatile cocoa and sugar prices and rising health consciousness, have limited industry growth. Chocolate is generally considered a discretionary good. As disposable income levels rise, demand for chocolate, particularly for premium products, increases.

However, consumers also indulge in chocolate in any economic circumstance, demonstrating the industry’s resilience to economic downfalls. Per capita disposable income is expected to increase in 2019, representing a potential opportunity for the industry.

The Chocolate Production industry is indeed a major sector of the economy of united states of America, Canada, Italy, France, United Kingdom, Ghana, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, China and India et al.

Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, the Chocolate Production industry generates over $19 billion annually from more than 3,556 registered and licensed chocolate production factories scattered all around the country. The industry is responsible for the employment of over 44,459 people.

Experts project the chocolate production industry to grow at a 2.1 percent annual rate between 2013 and 2018. Please note that the companies holding the largest market share in Chocolate Production in the US include Mars Inc., The Hershey Company, Ferrero Group and Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprungli AG.

A recent report published by IBISWorld projected the industry revenue to increase at an annualized rate of 2.0 percent over the five years to 2019, including growth of 1.4 percent in 2019. The barriers to entry in this industry are high, as the industry is dominated by the world’s most valuable and high-profile brands.

All over the world, the chocolate production industry is highly regulated because the devastating effect of fake chocolate can’t be quantified. As a matter of fact, there are several universal laws and regulations that govern the patenting, testing, safety, efficacy and marketing of products such as chocolate.

For example, in the United States, new chocolate and similar products must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as being both safe and effective before they can be allowed to go into the market.

If you are contemplating starting your own chocolate factory in the United States, you should ensure that you carry out a thorough market survey and feasibility studies. If you get some key factors wrong before starting your own chocolate production business, then you are likely going to struggle to stay afloat.

But over and above, chocolate factory business is a thriving and profitable business especially if you are creative and ready to take on the available market within the location where your business is plus the fact that Americans love chocolates and they are willing to try out different flavors.

2. Executive Summary

Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory, Inc. is a licensed chocolate production company that will be located in Dallas-Fort Worth – Texas. We have been able to secure a long – term lease for a facility in a strategic location with an option of a long – term renewal on terms and conditions that are favorable to us.

The facility has government approval for the kind of production business we want to run, the facility is easily accessible. We are deliberate about that because we want easy movement of raw materials (raw cocoa, sugar and packaging containers) and finished products (chocolate).

Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory, Inc. is in the chocolate production industry to produce chocolate molded with candy, fruit, nut or granola; chocolate bars, plain, chocolate coatings, cocoa powder; and cocoa butter, liquor and syrup. We are also in business to make profits and at the same to give our customers value for their money.

We are aware that there are several chocolate factories cum chocolate production companies scattered all around the United States whose products can be found all over the country, which is why we spent time and resources to conduct our feasibility studies and market survey so as to enable us locate the business in an area that can easily accept our products and brand.

We ensured that our facility is easy to locate and we have mapped out plans to develop a far – reaching distribution network all around Forth Smith – Texas and the United States of America.

Beyond producing quality chocolate products, our customer care is going to be second to none. We know that our customers are the reason why we are in business which is why we will go the extra mile to get them satisfied when they purchase our chocolate products.

Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory, Inc. will ensure that all our customers (wholesale distributors) are given first class treatment whenever they visit our factory. We have a CRM software that will enable us manage a one on one relationship with our customers (wholesale distributors) no matter how large they may grow to. We will ensure that we get our customers involved when making some business decisions that will directly or indirectly affect them.

Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory, Inc. is family business that will be owned by Irene Dickson and her immediate family members. Irene Dickson who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Company is a Graduate of Biochemistry and she holds a Master’s Degree in Business Management (MBA) from the University of California Berkley. She has over 15 years’ experience working in related industry as a director.

3. Our Products and Services

Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory is going to run a standard chocolate factory whose products will not only be sold in Dallas-Fort Worth – Texas but also throughout the United States of America. These are some of the products that we will be offering;

  • Chocolate molded with candy, fruit, nut or granola
  • Chocolate bars, plain
  • Chocolate coatings
  • Cocoa powder
  • Cocoa butter, liquor and syrup

4. Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • Our vision is to establish a standard chocolate factory whose products will be not only be sold in Dallas-Fort Worth – Texas, but also throughout the United States of America, Canada and Mexico.
  • Our mission is to establish a standard chocolate production Company/brand that in our own capacity will favorably compete with leaders in the industry. We want to build a business that will be listed amongst the top 20 chocolate brands in the United States of America.

Our Business Structure

Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory, Inc. is established with the aim of competing favorably with other leading brands in the industry. This is why we will ensure that we put the right structure in place that will support the kind of growth that we have in mind.

We will make sure that we only hire people that are qualified, health – conscious, honest, hardworking, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all the stake holders.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of ten years or more depending how fast we meet our set target. In view of that, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;

  • Chief Executive Officer (Owner)
  • Factory Manager
  • Human Resources and Admin Manager
  • Merchandize Manager
  • Sales and Marketing Manager
  • Machine Operators
  • Accountants / Cashiers
  • Distribution Truck Drivers

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Officer – CEO (Owner):

  • Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results.
  • Creating, communicating, and implementing the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Creating, communicating, and implementing the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization.

Factory Manager

  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of the factory
  • Part of the team that determines the quantity and quality of chocolate products that are to be produced
  • Maps out strategy that will lead to efficiency amongst workers in the factory
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of factory workers
  • Ensures that the steady flow of raw materials to the chocolate factory and easy flow of finished products through wholesale distributors to the market
  • Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
  • Ensures that the chocolate factory meets the expected safety and health standard at all times.

Human Resources and Admin Manager

  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
  • Defining job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carrying out staff induction for new team members
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Oversee the smooth running of the daily office and factory activities.

Merchandize Manager

  • Manage vendor relations, market visits, and the ongoing education and development of the organizations’ buying teams
  • Responsible for the purchase of raw materials directly from farmers and packaging materials
  • Responsible for planning sales, monitoring inventory, selecting the merchandise, and writing and pricing orders to vendors
  • Ensures that the organization operates within stipulated budget.

Sales and Marketing Manager

  • Manage external research and coordinate all the internal sources of information to retain the organizations’ best customers and attract new ones
  • Model demographic information and analyze the volumes of transactional data generated by customer purchases
  • Identify, prioritize, and reach out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
  • Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
  • Develop, execute and evaluate new plans for expanding sales
  • Document all customer contact and information
  • Represent the company in strategic meetings
  • Help increase sales and growth for the company

Accountant/Cashier

  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensuring compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for the organization
  • Serves as internal auditor for the organization

Client Service Executive

  • Welcomes guests and clients by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
  • Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
  • Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
  • Manages administrative duties assigned by the manager in an effective and timely manner
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the company’s products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients
  • Receives parcels/documents for the company
  • Distribute mails in the organization
  • Handles any other duties as assigned by the line manager

Production Workers/Machine Operators:

  • Operate machines such as evaporators, steamers and molds that are used in the production of chocolate treats.
  • Assist in packaging and loading chocolate products into distribution trucks

Distribution Truck Drivers

  • Assist in loading and unloading chocolate products
  • Maintain a logbook of their driving activities to ensure compliance with federal regulations governing the rest and work periods for operators.
  • Keep a record of vehicle inspections and make sure the truck is equipped with safety equipment
  • Assist the transport and logistics manager in planning their route according to a delivery schedule.
  • Local-delivery drivers may be required to sell products or services to stores and businesses on their route, obtain signatures from recipients and collect cash.
  • Transport finished goods and raw materials over land to and from manufacturing plant or retail and distribution centers
  • Inspect vehicles for mechanical items and safety issues and perform preventative maintenance
  • Comply with truck driving rules and regulations (size, weight, route designations, parking, break periods etc.) as well as with company policies and procedures
  • Collect and verify delivery instructions
  • Report defects, accidents or violations

6. SWOT Analysis

We are quite aware that there are several chocolate production companies in the United States of America, which is why we are following the due process of establishing a business so as to compete favorably with them. We know that if a proper SWOT analysis is conducted for our business, we will be able to position our business to maximize our strength, leverage on the opportunities that will be available to us, mitigate our risks and be welled equipped to confront our threats.

Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory, Inc. employed the services of an expert HR and Business Analyst with bias in startup business to help us conduct a thorough SWOT analysis and to help us create a Business model that will help us achieve our business goals and objectives. This is the summary of the SWOT analysis that was conducted for Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory, Inc.;

  • Strength:

Part of what is going to count as positives for Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory is the vast experience of our management team, we have people on board who are highly experienced and who understand how to grow a business. So also, our closeness to several cocoa plantations, large national distribution network and of course our excellent customer service culture will definitely count as a strong strength for the business.

  • Weakness:

A major weakness that may count against us is the fact that we are a new chocolate factory and we don’t have the financial capacity to engage in the kind of publicity that we intend giving the business especially when big names like Mars Inc., The Hershey Company, Ferrero Group and Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprungli AG. et al are already determining the direction of the market.

  • Opportunities:

From all projections from experts, one thing is certain, consolidation will boost market share concentration and profit margins despite volatile input costs. As a result of that, we were able to conduct a thorough market survey and feasibility studies so as to position our business to take advantage of the existing market for chocolate products and also to create our own new market. We know that it is going to requires hard work, and we are determined to achieve it.

  • Threat:

Aside from unfavorable government policies and economic impasse, a major threat that may likely confront us is the arrival of a new chocolate factory or related product manufacturing company in same location where ours is located or who might want to explore our market base.

7. MARKET ANALYSIS

  • Market Trends

If you are conversant with the existing trend in the chocolate production industry, you will agree that despite the fact that there are competitions in different stages of the industry, most chocolate factories are leveraging on creativity in terms of packaging and marketing to continue to stay afloat in the industry.

In addition, the introduction of healthier chocolate products has helped producers secure growth. As a matter of fact, trade for the Chocolate Production industry depends in part on the value of the dollar relative to other currencies of other countries.

An appreciating dollar causes domestic goods to be relatively more expensive in foreign markets, hurting exports. It also heightens competition from imports. The trade-weighted index is expected to fall in 2019. However, the overall volatile nature of this driver poses a potential threat to the industry.

8. Our Target Market

When it comes to selling chocolate and candies et al, there is indeed a wide range of available customers. In essence, our target market can’t be restricted to just a group of people, but all those who resides in our target market locations.

In view of that, we have conducted our market research and we have ideas of what our target market would be expecting from us. We are in business to engage in wholesale distribution and to retail our chocolate to the following groups of people;

  • Biscuits Manufacturers
  • Cake and Confectioneries producers
  • Finished Beverage Manufacturers
  • Everybody in our target market location

Our competitive advantage

It is known fact that in the world of business, especially in recent time, the competition is on the ascending and in order to stay competitive you must be innovative and highly creative, hence we will continue to create new products in response to rising health consciousness.

Part of what is going to count as a competitive advantage for Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory is the vast experience of our management team, we have people on board who are highly experienced and understand how to grow the business from the scratch to becoming a national phenomenon.

So also, our closeness to some of the largest cocoa plantations in Texas, our large and far reaching national distribution network and of course our excellent customer service culture will definitely count as a strong strength for the business.

Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the chocolate production industry, meaning that they will be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our aims and objectives. We will also give good working conditions and commissions to freelance sales agents that we will recruit from time to time.

9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEG

  • Sources of Income

Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory, Inc. is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the chocolate production industry and we are going to go all the way to ensure that we do all it takes to sell our chocolate products to a wide range of customers.

We will generate income by supplying the following products;

  • Chocolate molded with candy, fruit, nut or granola
  • Chocolate bars, plain
  • Chocolate coatings
  • Cocoa powder
  • Cocoa butter, liquor and syrup

10. Sales Forecast

One thing is certain when it comes to chocolate factory, if your products are well – packaged and branded and if your production chocolate factory is centrally positioned and easily accessible, you will always attract customers cum sales and that will sure translate to increase in revenue generation for the business.

We have been able to examine the chocolate production industry, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast.

  • Below are the sales projections for Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory, Inc., it is based on the location of our business and other factors as it relates to small scale and medium scale chocolate factory start – ups in the United States;
  • First Fiscal Year: $550,000
  • Second Fiscal Year: $1.3 Million
  • Third Fiscal Year: $2.2 Million

N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and there won’t be any major competitor offering same products and customer care services as we do within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

  • Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

Before choosing a location to start Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory, Inc. and also the kind of chocolate products we produce, we conducted a thorough market survey and feasibility studies in order for us to be able to be able to penetrate the available market in our target market locations.

We hired experts who have good understanding of the industry to help us develop marketing strategies that will help us achieve our goal of winning a larger percentage of the available market in Dallas-Fort Worth – Texas and other cities in the United States of America.

In summary, Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory, Inc. will adopt the following sales and marketing approach to sell our chocolate products;

  • Introduce our chocolate brand by sending introductory letters to confectionaries ad cake producers, finished beverage manufacturers, residents, merchants, retailers and other stakeholders in Dallas-Fort Worth – Texas and other cities both in the United States of America
  • Advertise our products in community – based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List our business and products on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Leverage on the internet to promote our chocolate brands
  • Engage in direct marketing and sales
  • Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory, Inc. has a long – term plan of distributing our chocolate products in various locations all around the United States of America, which is why we will deliberately build our brand to be well accepted first in Dallas-Fort Worth – Texas before venturing out. Here are the platforms we intend leveraging on to promote and advertise Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory, Inc.;

  • Place adverts on both print (community – based newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and twitter, et al to promote our chocolate brand
  • Install our Billboards in strategic locations all around major cities in the United States of America, Canada and Mexico
  • Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted communities
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
  • Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where we intend getting customers to start patronizing our products.
  • Ensure that our products are well branded and that all our staff members wear our customized clothes, and all our official cars and distribution vans are customized and well branded.

12. Our Pricing Strategy

We are aware of the pricing trend in the chocolate production industry which is why we have decided to produce various sizes and types of chocolate products.

In view of that, our prices will conform to what is obtainable in the industry but will ensure that within the first 6 to 12 months our chocolate products are sold a little bit below the average price of various chocolate brands in the United States of America. We have put in place business strategies that will help us run on low profits for a period of 6 months; it is a way of encouraging people to buy into our chocolate brand.

  • Payment Options

The payment policy adopted by Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory, Inc. is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.

Here are the payment options that Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory, Inc. will make available to her clients;

  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for chocolate products purchase without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials.

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

Starting a standard chocolate factory is indeed a capital – intensive business because the amount required in setting up a chocolate factory is relatively much for a starter. The bulk of the startup capital will be spent on leasing or acquiring a facility and also in purchasing evaporating machine/steamer, sugar extractor, stirring tank, mold and sealing machines, a mini lab and good drainage system.

Aside from that, you also need to purchase distribution trucks, raw production materials, and paying of your employees and utility bills. These are the key areas where we will spend our startup capital;

  • The total fee for registering the business in the United States of America – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines and other software) – $1,300.
  • Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory, Inc. in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of – $3,580.
  • The cost for hiring Business Consultant – $2,500.
  • The cost for insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $2,400.
  • The cost for payment of rent for 12 months at $1.76 per square feet in the total amount of $110,300.
  • The cost for construction of a standard chocolate factory – $230,000.
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery ($500) and phone and utility deposits ($2,500).
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $100,000
  • The cost for start-up inventory (evaporating machine / steamer, sugar extractor, stirring tank, molding machines, a mini lab and good drainage system, supply of raw cocoa, sugarcane, and packaging materials et al) – $100,000
  • The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $13,750
  • The cost of purchase of distribution vans – $60,000
  • The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, Fax Machines, tables and chairs et al) – $4,000.
  • The cost of launching a website – $600
  • The cost for our opening party – $10,000
  • Miscellaneous – $10,000

We would need an estimate of $500,000 to successfully set up our chocolate factory in Dallas-Fort Worth – Texas.

Generating Funds/Startup Capital for Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory, Inc.

Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory, Inc. is a family business that is owned and financed by Mrs. Irene Dickson and her immediate family members. They do not intend to welcome any external business partner which is why he has decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital to 3 major sources.

  • Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings and sell of stocks
  • Source for soft loans from family members and friends
  • Apply for loan from the Bank

N.B: We have been able to generate about $200,000 (Personal savings $150,000 and soft loan from family members $50,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $300,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited with the amount.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

The future of any business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business (company), then it won’t be too long before the business close shop.

One of our major goals of starting Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory, Inc. is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without the need for injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running. We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to retail our chocolate products a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.

Queen Brownie® Chocolate Factory, Inc. will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner.

We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.

Check List/Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check: Completed
  • Business Registration: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
  • Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
  • Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Leasing of facility and construction of standard chocolate factory: In Progress
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating capital from family members and friends: Completed
  • Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
  • Design of the Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Printing of Packaging and Promotional Materials: In Progress
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of the needed production machine and office equipment: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business both online and around the community: In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
  • Opening party/launching party planning: In Progress
  • Establishing business relationship with vendors – wholesalers, cocoa and sugarcane farmers, suppliers and merchants: In Progress
Solomon. O'Chucks