Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui) has partnered with Venchi S.p,A. (Venchi), operator of a high-end chocolate and gelato brand in Italy for more than 100 years, to establish Venchi Japan Co., Ltd. (Venchi Japan).
Venchi was established in Torino, Italy in 1878. Within the chocolate market, where personal consumption and gifts make up the majority of demand, Venchi is unique in that it places a focus on the premium market, where purchases are made for self-reward. The brand has triggered new consumer demand in this space, by offering customers the freedom to select from singular pieces, each made using traditional ingredients and manufacturing methods.
Through Venchi Japan, in which Mitsui holds a 95% stake and Venchi holds a 5% stake, the business will be engaged in the development of Venchi branded stores in Japan, as well as operating a wholesale business. Japan's chocolate market has continued to grow as a result of the expansion of products in the high price range, and it is now a ¥500 billion market. With more than 50 stores across Italy, in recent years Venchi has been accelerating its overseas expansion, now operating more than 50 stores across locations such as London, Hong Kong and China. By promoting the expansion of Venchi into Japan and introducing the Venchi brand into Japan's continuously growing chocolate market, Mitsui hopes to provide new value and new perspectives to consumers.
Mitsui & Co. positions the retail business as an area of growth, and through the expansion of consumer touch points, aims to further develop its product planning, development and marketing functions, and stimulate the creation of new business. Mitsui will leverage this business to continue offering more unique products and services and bring greater prosperity to people's lifestyles.