Even if Easter does not take place in four months, the saguenay region company Chocolats Lulu is already certain to know an exceptional year, due to a new agreement with the giant Costco, which will distribute the chickens and other bunnies chocolate candy to the four corners of the province.
The chocolaterie du boulevard du Saguenay is running at full throttle in the beginning of the year, as the backlog has increased 60% since last year.
The chocolaterie du boulevard du Saguenay is running at full throttle in the beginning of the year, as the backlog has increased by 60 %.
PROGRESS, ROCKET LAVOIE
Sold for a dozen years at the shop Costco in Chicoutimi, chocolates Lulu will land this year in a dozen of stores, from Montreal to the National Capital, passing through the Centre-du-Québec.
“We are going to have an Easter for the record books this year. Given the quality of our products, [Costco] we opened [their doors]. Orders of Costco have almost doubled, and it has also signed agreements with Metro-Richelieu for the province as a whole “, says the president of Chocolats Lulu, Colin Tremblay, smiling.
Chocolats Lulu has hired ten additional workers to meet the needs of production this year.
PROGRESS, ROCKET LAVOIE
In addition to these new agreements, it is necessary to add a new distribution agreement with the pharmacy chain Brunet for all of its branches in quebec, in addition to the renewal of the agreement binding the chocolate factory to the chain Sobey’s (IGA) and the Jean Coutu drugstores.
“It is in the region. This is not easy to create contacts with wholesale buyers. It has done a good job of that side, believes the president of the company founded in 1968.
For getting to meet the increasing demand, the company’s regional – which are typically 25 regular employees – has had to hire ten new workers, who have been hard at work since the month of September. These are taken a month in advance to produce the candy that will be sold as soon as the month of February. A sign that the production increase is significant, the company does not happen – for the first time in 50 years of existence – to store its production in its own premises.
“Usually, it is delivered as soon as it is produced, but this year, we were forced to rent a warehouse for the first time in our history,” illustrates Mr. Tremblay.
Not less than 125 pallets of chocolates are as well stored, ready to be delivered. An investment of the order of $ 100,000 has also been necessary to upgrade the production plant of the boulevard du Saguenay. Easter falls on April 21 this year, compared with April 1 last year. The extra 20 days are very auspicious for business, notes the chairman of Chocolates Lulu. “It is good for us because we sell over a longer period. It’s been a long time that we didn’t have an Easter late as that. “
Sales of Easter represent half of the annual sales of Chocolates Lulu. The company does not reveal, however, not the amount of chocolate produced annually, for the sake of competitiveness.
THE CHOCOLATE CANNABIS IN THE PLANS
After the dark chocolate and white, Chocolate, Lulu looks at the possibility of launching in a market niche never seen before : the chocolate marijuana.
“We are always on the lookout for new markets and new products. With the legalization of marijuana, we will look whether it is possible to develop a range of products, introducing,”, the Progress, the chairman of Chocolates, Lulu, Colin Tremblay.
The latter specifies that it is an idea recently, which he discussed with his partner, Dyane Gagnon, in the last few days, and that nothing is cast in concrete for the moment.
The opportunities offered by the market near virgin of edible products derived from the cannabis plant, however, are very attractive, says Mr. Tremblay.
“It is sure as derivatives, it will be of all sorts. There are surely people who think about it also, but we are going to look at the possibility of going in this market. “
The sale soon to be authorized
The sale of edible products containing cannabis and concentrates of cannabis should be permitted in the course of the year, according to the provisions of the Law on cannabis, which came into force on October 17, 2018.
Currently, the only products authorized for sale are cannabis oil, cannabis charges, the dried cannabis, cannabis seeds and cannabis plants.