Now synonymous with luxury and gifting for special occasions, Patchi was founded in Lebanon but took a strategic decision in 1992 to open a chocolate factory in the UAE. This allowed the growing company to cater to the expanding UAE market and capitalise on its understanding of the local culture.
Continually adapting its flavours and offerings to match the ever-changing trends and palates of its customers, Patchi offers a wide range of products from loose chocolate to prepacked boxes, as well as innovative made-to-measure arrangements.
Aline Ashkarian, Patchi UAE's country general manager, says: “Our premium chocolate is a celebration of different fillings, ranges, shapes, and sizes. Each timeless piece is made with high quality ingredients that are free from preservatives and additives. The recipes are exclusive to Patchi and have been carefully created by our expert chefs and chocolate specialists. The result is the finest quality chocolate with a superior taste.”
Custom collections are dictated by an intensive calendar that makes sure that the major festivities and occasions celebrated by the diverse community in the UAE are covered. “What distinguishes Patchi from the competition, other than our consistency in premium quality, is our offerings of over 80 flavours and the ability to create bespoke flavours and unique packages for our clients,” explains Ashkarian.
Last year was an eventful year for Patchi UAE. The company broke ground on what will be its largest factory in the world, doubling capacity from five tonnes with overtime per day, to 10 tonnes per day, without overtime.
Highlighting another achievement, Ashkarian says: “We also received our halal certification for our factory. Patchi is the first firm at Dubai Industrial Park (DIP) to earn halal certification from the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA).”
Cementing its position as the gifting chocolate, Patchi also reached a record rank at the Dubai Duty Free, ranking third among more than 155 confectionery brands in the Dubai Duty Free, and maintaining its top spot among premium chocolatiers.
The brand places great importance in being transparent and being a trusted source of information for its customers. Ashkarian states: “I believe educating consumers on the difference between real chocolate and how it differs from mass chocolate from mass chocolate is very important.
Understanding the ingredients in chocolate will also add value to all luxury chocolate artisans and boost the industry.
To date, many consumers do not see or know the difference between the Patchi chocolate spread and the available chocolate spreads in the market. Patchi consists of 80% hazelnut, versus others that have a maximum of 13%.”
The brand ensures that quality standards are maintained by sourcing premium raw materials and is currently developing a new line of chocolates that will appeal to health-conscious chocolate lovers.
“All Patchi chocolates are free from preservatives and artificial ingredients. The Patchi chocolate recipe always has more cocoa mass versus cocoa butter, which ensures a premium product — this is where educating the customer comes in. For the more health-conscious customers, we have our No-Added Sugar line, as well as a selection of dark chocolates.”
Ashkarian assures us that, far from sitting back to enjoy its position in the industry, there are plenty of new developments in the Patchi pipeline for its product range: “We have over 80 varieties of chocolate, and we are always looking for something new. We also live in a world where new things are being discovered on a daily basis — think of the pink chocolate that was recently discovered. For chocolate, I think other than varieties, it is always interesting to see chocolate combinations — chocolate pasta, chilli chocolate, chocolate-glazed chicken — the sky is the limit when it comes to researching and designing new flavours.”
THE GROWTH OF A GIFTING HERITAGE
Patchi was established in Lebanon by Nizar Choucair in 1974, the creator of the chocolate gifting concept. Patchi operates five chocolate factories in the region, and four other manufacturing divisions in Lebanon, including a printing house for the production of packaging, a factory for the silverware line, the porcelain division, and the decorative flowers division for the production of Patchi’s unique accessories. With a rich history of 44 years, today Patchi is a premium brand with a distinctive heritage, expanded and properly established in over 25 countries around the world including Middle East, North America, Europe, North Africa and Asia Pacific.