Kick off press conference (11-02-2010) << back to overview

Press release

A unique and very special partnership between Godiva, Guylian, Neuhaus and Barry Callebaut for the World Expo Shanghai 2010

• Unique partnership between world-famous Belgian chocolate brands
• Belgium to display every aspect of its chocolate expertise: from basic ingredient  to praline, from international brand to local chocolatier

11 February 2010 – Belgian chocolate is famed all over the world. And rightly so. The praline was 'invented' in Belgium; no other country has more artisan chocolatiers; and Belgium is home to many of the biggest names in chocolate. China has 1.3 billion potential chocolate lovers. So the World Expo Shanghai 2010 was predestined to be a unique encounter between 'our chocolate' and the Chinese consumer. To tempt Chinese chocolate lovers in sweet harmony, Godiva, Guylian, Neuhaus and Barry Callebaut are joining forces in a unique, behind-the-scenes partnership. Together they are creating the ‘Belgian chocolate corner’ at Shanghai 2010.

The ‘Belgian chocolate corner’ will be one of the main attractions in the Belgian pavilion in Shanghai – an appetising place offering a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds. From 1 May they won't just be selling exquisite Belgian pralines there; they'll be training Chinese chocolatiers as well. To show off our unique skills, 70 Belgian artisan chocolatiers will be giving demonstrations for the duration of the World Expo. It will be a must-see for every visitor to the World Expo.

Leo Delcroix, Belgian commissioner general for Shanghai 2010, says: "Barry Callebaut, Godiva, Guylian and Neuhaus are leading home-grown Belgian chocolate brands. They're known for their high quality chocolate products and they share a passion for taste, quality and craftsmanship. Their partnership is a fantastic way of showing off the entire Belgian chocolate sector: not only will they be generous with their own chocolate creations, but will also make room for local artisan chocolatiers. It's admirable that these big names are investing in the entire Belgian chocolate sector."

"The 1958 World Expo set in motion the democratisation of the praline in Belgium. The expo was the launchpad for chocolate brands and products that are still the best of the best today," says Kris Dooms of the Royal Association of Belgian Chocolate Makers and Confectioners. "The ‘Belgian Chocolate Corner’ could have the same effect on the Chinese market. It's the ideal place to show the world that we lead the way when it comes to chocolate, and to introduce our products to the Chinese market on a grand scale."

Thanks also to the generous support of our sponsors, Sony and PRG, the Chocolate Corner will have the very best audiovisual resources to help intensify the chocolate experience. Prefamac will be providing the material and machines so that the chocolatiers can demonstrate their expertise in Shanghai. Lieve Dejonghe is a painter with a love of art, chocolate and China – an inspiring mix that forms the basis of much of her work. Lieve will be making an installation for the ‘Belgian Chocolate Corner’ at the World Expo in Shanghai. It's sure to be a special blend of Chinese elements, humour and her distinctively subtle style.

China: a market with unparalleled potential
No other economy is growing as quickly as China's. This growth has also facilitated the emergence of the Chinese middle class. In other words, China is ready for consumption and enjoyment. Chocolate and pralines are a blend of art, pure pleasure and surprising flavours. This combination makes pralines irresistible to the Chinese. They're an ideal gift – which is particularly important in Chinese culture – or a moment of pure personal pleasure.

China already has a strong chocolate market. In 2008 it imported around 802 tonnes of chocolate from Belgium, worth over €4 million . This makes Belgium one of the biggest exporters of chocolate to China, just behind Singapore and Italy.

Belgians eat an average of 6 kg of chocolate a year . The average annual consumption of chocolate in China is barely 150 grams per person. These figures immediately reveal the unparalleled potential of this market.

If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact:
Pride - Sally Herygers or Ann Maes
Ann's mobile: +32 (0)477 417 092
Sally's mobile: +32 (0)472 67 97 03
E-mail: sally.herygers@pr-ide.be or ann.maes@pr-ide.be