October 12th: Ritter Sport Interview 2011

I have a special post for you all today - an interview with my friends over at the Ritter Sport Blog - SEE HERE. These guys were kind enough to answer some of the questions that always seem to crop up whenever Ritter are featured on the site. I hope you enjoy this post - pictured intermittently throughout are some pictures of their Christmas range 2011. Thanks so much to the Ritter Sport team who supplied me with the answers :D

1. What are the top 3 best selling Ritter flavours and does it vary a lot by country?

1. Marzipan
2. Whole Hazelnuts
3. Peppermint

1. Whole Hazelnuts
2. Praline
3. Alpine Milk Chocolate

1. Whole Hazelnuts
2. Dark Whole Hazelnuts
3. White Whole Hazelnuts

In general you can say the most successful flavours are the ones with nuts.

2. Who comes up with all the different flavours and are they running out of ideas?

Sometimes we ask customers which kind of flavour they would like in a chocolate or we think about what would be a good flavour/taste for the (special) season like spring, summer or winter. Another possibility is to meet with our department of Research and Development and ask them if they have discovered any interesting and new flavours lately. Yet there are still a lot of flavours to come 

3. Why is there currently such a poor selection in the UK? Do you have plans to expand your range over here?

UK is not a big selling market yet. Less/no distribution in lots of markets ‘cause we are a nonfamous brand in the UK. But we do our best to change it. We work on it.  -> London besides has a good distribution as you can find enclosed.

4. Have you ever made any TV commercials?

Yes, we have commercials (for promotions and standard flavours) in some countries, especially Germany, Italy, Russia, Netherlands and we also started with some in the USA this autumn.
5. What is it like working at Ritter?

It’s fun to work at Ritter Sport. It’s a good working atmosphere, maybe the secret is that it is a family business and the owner is also in the company. Working in the marketing department gives me the opportunity to form the brand individually. Besides, I can work with a lot of different types of people and every day is different from the other. It is never boring to work for RITTER SPORT!

6. What is the business performance of Ritter like in these times of strained global finances?

Difficult question, I give you more information to that next week.

7. Are you ever going to create these flavours?
a. Caramel
b. Peanut Butter
c. Chilli
d. Sea Salt
e. Marshmallow
f. Coconut

We already sell Caramel + Nuts in Germany. We also had Coconut in our variety of goods. Peanuts are not included in the process of produktion any more because of the allgergy subject. We don’t have different machines to produce each product.

8. Why did you stop selling the Cocos bar?

We had low sales figures/demand for the Cocos so we had to take it out of our variety of goods. But we are thinking about a come back. We’ll see what happens.9. Who would you say is your biggest competitor?

Our biggest competitor is “Milka”. They sell the same chocolate bar products like us and have also the same target group.

10. Are Ritter planning on expanding in the future? If so what markets are they going after?

I give you more information to that next week.

11. Are Ritter ever going to change their packaging? Aren’t you running out of colours now?

In January 2010 we had a packaging relaunch. We changed the old pack with golden wings on both sides into their packaging colour. No, we didn’t run out of colours yet. There are still some left for new types.

12. Why are all your Bars Square shaped? Why not round or rectangular?

It’s quite easy it’s part of our brand label “Quality. Chocolate. Squared.”
Besides, it´s a unique selling proposition which differentiates us from other brands in the market.

13. Have you ever made a flavour that has been really unsuccessful?

No, we didn’t have an unsuccessful chocolate bar yet. It’s more than the demand declined 

14. What have Ritter got planned for Christmas 2011?

In Germany we are selling Advent calendars, “Gold Edition”-stars (It’s Extra Fine Milk Chocolate with 40% Cacao, packed in star design) and Christmas trees filled with tiny “Gold Edition” bars.

15. Why do you use hazelnuts in so many of your chocolates?

As you can see in your first question chocolate with hazelnuts is worldwide a big seller for Ritter Sport. Lots of different countries like the special hazelnut chocolate.
16. What is your favourite chocolate blog to read  ???

www.ritter-sport.de/blog and of course http://www.chocolatemission.net/ 

17. What are your favourite Ritter Sport flavours?

I don’t really have a favourite flavour. I like many different Ritter Sport chocolate bars ‘cause they are all good in their own way. Depends on the season and the mood!