Marc Wirth, managing director, Sprüngli Middle East, explains the thoughts behind the Swiss chocolatiers expansion within the UAE.
Tell me about Confiserie Sprüngli.
The Sprüngli legacy began over 180 years ago in 1836 when David Sprüngli and his son Rudolf, established the Sprüngli & Son confectionery business in Zurich, Switzerland. In 1845, Rudolf Sprüngli founded the first chocolate production unit in the Swiss German part of Switzerland and played a big role in spreading the reputation of quality Swiss chocolate to other countries. To date, Sprüngli maintains its tradition of artisan-produced chocolates, Luxemburgerli macaroons & cakes.
When did you launch in the UAE?
In Dubai, we have had a presence since 2008 but grew rapidly on a consumer level within the last two years with the new boutique openings in The Galleria, on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi and in the newly launched Fashion Avenue, in The Dubai Mall. One has to understand that Sprüngli products are only exclusively available in our own boutiques in Switzerland and the UAE, we do not franchise our brand.
We decided to open our first shop abroad due to the high demand from our clients in the region and because the local market is very important to us. All the products sold in the UAE are still produced in Switzerland and are regularly sent by plane to Dubai.
Tell me about the new venue in The Dubai Mall.
Both of our boutiques, in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are fairly new, where we used rich wooden materials and signature marble flooring. Both locations are embedded in a luxurious environment but customers should not be afraid to step in because we are affordable luxury.
What products do you offer?
Customers can not only indulge in our delicious chocolate truffles and pralines, but can also discover the famous Luxemburgerli macaroon and have real Italian coffee. Many customers do not realise that we also offer croissants, cakes, ice cream and several other Sprüngli products; we always offer seasonal products as well. For example, this Ramadan we bring in to the country four different date pralines created especially for this region.
What does the future hold for Confiserie Sprüngli in the region?
We just opened in The Dubai Mall. Both boutiques & café are very well visited by customers living in Dubai and Abu Dhabi who know us well from their visits to Switzerland. We are now creating more brand awareness and plan to bring new customers from the region who have not yet experienced the Sprüngli way of chocolates.