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Gnaw Chocolate leads Norfolk winners at regional awards following French demand boom

PUBLISHED: 10:31 24 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:56 24 September 2018

The Gnaw team based in Norwich. Picture: Keiron Tovell

The Gnaw team based in Norwich. Picture: Keiron Tovell

Keiron Tovell

Norwich chocolate company Gnaw was the big winner at the regional British Chamber of Commerce awards, after a year in which it has invested heavily to keep up with demand abroad.

Gnaw chocolate. Picture: Keiron TovellGnaw chocolate. Picture: Keiron Tovell

Gnaw Chocolate, a past member of the Future50 programme, took home the region’s Export Business of the Year title, having launched in France in January and recently landed a £1m deal in Russia.

The company spent £56,000 to improve packaging, but as a direct result of being sold into four major French chains, had to invest a further £125,000 just a month later.

Angi Davies, head of marketing, said: “France has been the biggest new export market for us of the seven new countries we’ve launched into this year – they can’t seem to get enough.

“We believe the demand is because of new products which are healthier alternatives to other chocolate bars. Our new product development team spotted a gap in the market around granola and chocolate bars, which have been extremely popular.”

She added: “We have a lot of overseas demand from places like South Africa, and China. We’ve also recently launched to the USA and will also be stocking in Russia. It’s great that from our factory in Norwich, Gnaw is going all over the world.

“The next chocolate trends will be more of the same, as there’s a real focus on healthier eating. At a moment there’s a lot of buzz around eating less sugar, and because of the higher quantities of cocoa and cocoa butter we use in our products, our sugar content is lower.”

Gnaw also took home the prize for the Eastern Region’s Small Business of the Year – meaning that Norfolk companies won six out of the eight categories in the Eastern region awards, covering Norfolk, Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Hertfordshire.

Of the other Norfolk winners, Best Use of Technology went to Lintott Control Systems, Employer of the Year went to Liftshare, and the High Growth Business of the Year was won by Pruce Newman Pipework - all three being Future50 members past and present.

The Workplace Wellbeing Award went to Larking Gowen LLP.

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