Cocoa price will not hold us back vows Kinnerton boss

11:03 12 February 2014


Kinnerton's at Fakenham. Site Director Gordon Chetwood. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2013

Norfolk chocolate producer Kinnerton is confident high cocoa prices will not eat into its finances as it targets another year of growth.

Kinnerton's at Fakenham. Picture: Matthew Usher.Kinnerton's at Fakenham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Fakenham-based confectioner has faced a squeeze at both ends of the business from a 20pc hike in cocoa butter pricing and increased pressure from retailers to keep its costs down.

But site director Gordon Chetwood expects the company to exceed last year’s sales and profits by widening its distribution and increasing the presence of its key brands.

• Bosses of Norfolk firm Kinnerton believe they have found a recipe to further success with new chocolate versions of ice-cream brands

• Kinnerton founder says desire to expand Fakenham chocolate factory does not go away with takeover

• EDP Top 100 Profile: Kinnerton

The bright forecast follows a positive 2013 for the firm after landing a significant contract with Unilever to produce chocolate versions of its popular ice creams.

Mr Chetwood said more licenced products will be launched by Kinnerton this year, but he does not expect the company to add significant numbers to its workforce after recruiting more than 100 people in the last 18 months.

“There have been changes to pricing at both ends of the business regarding commodities and our supply,” he said. “The price of chocolate is 20pc higher than it was a year ago and that is a real challenge. The world market price for cocoa butter is exceptionally high and continues to rise. There have been some spikes historically, but this has been over an extended period.

“We have coped with the costs through product engineering, being more cost effective, and in some cases we have had to pass it onto the customer. But we cannot just pass all the costs onto the retailers.

“We want to consolidate the uptake of our products across our confectionary output,” he added. “There are still wholesalers that we haven’t done business with.”

According to its latest set of accounts to April 27 2013, the business has seen a 7pc increase in turnover to £75m, while pre-tax profits grew from £3m to £3.9m.

But while its UK and Australian business grew, its turnover in Europe fell slightly from £2m to £1.9m.

“Growing our export offering is something that has been on our radar in the existing market places we serve and potentially new markets as well,” Mr Chetwood said. “But the main growth will continue to come from the UK market.”

• Is your firm mounting exciting new growth? Contact business writer Ben Woods on 01603 772426, or email



Show Job Lists


J&S Jewellery was launched three years ago by sisters Jenny and Sophie Laslett and is now turning over £1M a year. Photo : Steve Adams

When launching a jewellery business in late 2012, sisters Jenny and Sophie Laslett used some borrowed money and a spare room. After ordering a small batch from a manufacturer in the Far East, their only customers the first Christmas were friends and family.

Justice Secretary Liz Truss arrives in Downing Street, London, for the first Cabinet meeting of the new government. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 19, 2016. See PA story POLITICS Cabinet. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

It is always challenging to take on a job in an industry in which you have no experience, looking to learn on the job while leading.

Green 100


Enjoy the Green 100
digital edition


Mustard TV

Meet the Team

Mark Shields

Business Editor


Chris Hill

Agricultural and Farming Editor


Shaun Lowthorpe

Business Publishing Editor


Sabah Meddings

Business Writer


Duncan Abel

Business Development Manager

Business Most Read


Norfolk Future 50 EDP Business Awards Green 100

Business Most Commented

Newsletter Sign Up