Made by Taste&Beauty of Ober-Grafendorf, Austria, Styx chocolate has enjoyed increasing demand for its organic and sustainably made chocolates in 2013, led by the introduction of the Styx brand into Russia.
Styx’s origin had its beginning in the idyllic and deeply romantic region of Austria, near Vienna, called the Wachau valley, where Wolfgang Styx began to develop a long family tradition, namely the collecting, growing and preserving of wild berries and fruit in alcohol.
In 1987, after he met a master pastry chef, a combination of fruit and creamy chocolate was created. At first, these high quality chocolates, with their wild berries and fruit, grown in the clean nature of the region were hand made in the small sleepy village of Durnstein, and sold to the local people.
These chocolate delights became more widely known and demand grew. A professional manufacturing plant was established using ecological and sustainable principles in 2010, where hordes of tourists now visit daily, and from where the chocolates are sold to retailers throughout the EU.
The business has seen continued demand in 2013 and Styx is working to launch new products. “At the moment we are developing drinking chocolate and might introduce it to the Austrian market next Year to Valentines Day,” said Christopher Perry of Styx marketing department.
Export markets are being explored and consumers have welcomed Styx chocolate in Russia and it’s currently working to introduce Styx chocolates in Japan. “We believe that the growing demand of chocolate in countries like Japan is helped by the great image of Austria, with its clean nature,” Mr Perry said.
Dark chocolate’s higher health profile is proving to be a major contributor to growth and Styx has found that this has reached every region around the world, where consumers are currently looking for healthy and even more environmental friendly products.
“We are proud to offer them our solution to this growing need. Obviously we fit their needs quite properly, or rather exceed their expectations and recent published scientific opinions help us to sell more chocolates,” Mr Perry said.
Major consumer trends that Styx is seeing include preference for regionally produced products as consumers understand its sustainability and the high quality of the organic ingredients used in chocolate production, including organic cacao and cane sugar. The range includes dark and milk chocolate in the assortment, some combined with pear brittles.
Styx is also Fairtrade certified and sources organic cacao from Africa. Consumers in Austria are looking more for environmental friendly and fair traded products than in former times.
Mr Perry said that having organic certification, sustainability and fair trade programs is not longer just nice to have, it must be assured and that these certifications are no unique selling point.
“Consumers are expecting products to be harmless and credible to the environment and people and that the challenging task is to be completely transparent and let consumers look over your shoulder,” he said. “Especially, end consumers want to know where you buy your resources and where you produce it.”