Hotel Chocolat has entered a strategic partnership with Eat Creator Corporation to optimise the brand for the Japanese market. 

Hotel Chocolat Wall of Chocolate

Hotel Chocolat has had a presence in Japan for more than four years

The upmarket chocolatier has signed an agreement with Tokyo-based Eat Creator for growth capital, supply expertise and advice on optimising the brand for shoppers in Japan. 

Hotel Chocolat, which entered the Japanese market over four years ago, last month reported that impairment of loans to its Japanese joint venture Hotel Chocolat KK contributed to a statutory loss last year of £9.4m versus a profit of £3.7m the previous year.

As part of the new agreement, Hotel Chocolat will hold 20% equity in the newly established vehicle and will retain brand loyalty revenues. The partnership includes 21 branded Hotel Chocolat stores and their information database of over 200,000 Japanese customers. 

Hotel Chocolat co-founder and chief executive Angus Thirlwell said: “Our new partner is well equipped to optimise the brand’s potential for Japan, bringing proven expertise, new capital and a natural alignment on brand values. We are looking forward to combining the ingredients of Eat Creator with the ingredients of Hotel Chocolat into a powerful recipe for our next chapter in Japan.”

Eat Creator chief executive Satoshi Nagasuna said: “Like many Japanese people, I have watched the positive impact that the Hotel Chocolat brand has made in our market over the last four challenging years. When the opportunity presented itself to become directly involved with the business, we realised that our skills would be a good match with what was needed to take Hotel Chocolat Japan to the next level. We are excited to get started.”

Eat Creator Corporation provides a range of optimisation services for food brands in Japan including content creation, operations and incubation, and it has worked with Neki, Social Kitchen and Unis in Tokyo.

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