Founded in 1871, Brunberg Oy is a Finnish traditional confectionery factory with a discerning and loyal customer base. Brunberg specialises in high-quality chocolate, toffee, liquorice and fruit confectioneries. The company’s latest addition to its range is a lactose free milk chocolate bar made with Valio Eila® lactose free milk powder. Brunberg’s product range already included a sugar-free and naturally lactose free dark chocolate product.
Careful monitoring of production lines has a major role in Brunberg’s lactose free chocolate products. Valio Eila® lactose free milk powder removes the risk of lactose spoilage, and makes the process significantly easier compared to a production environment where conventional milk powder is also used.
For Brunberg, Valio Eila® lactose free milk powder came on the market at exactly the just time. The company’s first 50 g lactose free chocolate bar was launched in December 2007. The real breakthrough came when Brunberg introduced its 150 g chocolate bar in February 2012. The larger size turned out to be a real hit with Finnish consumers. Sales of Brunberg’s lactose free chocolate tripled in 2012, and continue to grow despite being marketing being confined mostly to press releases and social media.
“We are very pleased with the increased sales of lactose free chocolate products, and with how quickly consumers have taken to them. There was a clear demand for this type of product,” says Brunberg CEO Katarina Enholm.
Good cooperation brings results
The long-term partnership between Valio and Brunberg has an important role in successful launches. “We listen to customers closely, and work hard to provide the right solution for their needs. Joint product development projects enable new innovative solutions. Brunberg was a pioneer in Finland when it launched lactose free milk chocolate 10 years ago. Brunberg’s lactose free milk chocolate product family has grown, and new innovations are on the way in the near future to meet consumer needs. It’s a great honour to be able to work with the Finnish confectionery and chocolate industry,” says Valio sales manager Jari Leppänen.
The changing face of speciality retail
Most retail stores have a wide range of lactose free products, and chocolate has found its place among these offerings. Lactose free chocolate is already sold throughout Finland by all major retail outlets. The popularity of lactose free chocolate is also given a boost by a more general change in eating habits, which has brought what were previously speciality products to other shops as well. Consumers are also willing to pay a higher price for high quality.
“Lactose free chocolate bars are an important part of our business. Judging from the positive feedback we have received, there seems to be good demand for similar new products,” says Katarina.