Kopenhagen plans to double the network in 5 years with Advent fund as a partner
With new resources, the company set a daring goal: to multiply its revenue by four in five years. Revenue was BRL 1.7 billion in 2021
The last two years were busy for Grupo CRM, owner of the chocolate brands Copenhagen and Brazil Cocoa. Not only because of the pandemic, which forced the company to go digital, but also because it was sold to a new owner – the private equity fund Advent, which bought control of the group in October 2020. With new resources, the company established a daring goal: to multiply its revenue by four in five years. Revenue was BRL 1.7 billion in 2021.
At the head of the company in the new phase is a familiar face: Renata Vichi – daughter of the former controller, Celso Moraes -, who took over in February 2020, after 25 years in the company. It was endorsed by Advent for the mission of accelerating growth, an issue in which Cacau Show, its main rival, has been more agile.
The company, which currently has 950 units, expects to double in size by 2027. To this end, the plan foresees the opening of 130 stores by the end of this year (100 from Kopenhagen and 30 from Brasil Cacau, the group’s cheapest brand), and another 200 a year starting in 2023. As a comparison, the Cacau Show has 3,000 points of sale and should open another 500 this year.
But to grow at the planned speed, it will be necessary to change the Brazilian culture of chocolate consumption. The products are still very much remembered on festive dates – 55% of the recipes are concentrated in Easter and Christmas.
The current average consumption per person is 2.7 kilos per year, while in countries like Switzerland and Germany the proportion reaches 9 kilos. To increase the number, Renata’s big bet is the Soul Good line of chocolates, which has products with high percentages of cocoa, without sugar and lactose. The line already represents 7% of the group’s sales. The idea is to do the same with other recently launched lines, such as ice cream.
The company has also bet on coffee. In Kopenhagen stores, 25% of sales are already linked to the product or derivatives. Therefore, one of the growth paths for the coming years is Kop Koffee, a chain of coffee shops launched shortly before the pandemic. Today there are two stores in operation and a coffee shop in a concept store in the Itaim neighborhood.
“We still don’t have an estimated number, but it will surpass a hundred stores”, says Renata. Another flank of expansion is e-commerce, whose goal is to increase the share of sales from 20% to 30%.
For Alberto Serrentino, a partner at Varese Retail consultancy, which specializes in retail, the café model gives the group more room to grow, and the entry of Advent gives strength to a more structured growth. “With the number of stores increasing, it is easier to have an online operation. The delivery of chocolates, which spoil easily, is faster,” he says.
Regarding the future with Advent, Renata prefers not to indicate the date for an eventual exit of the fund from the control of Kopenhagen, as well as a future IPO (initial offering of shares, in English). “Advent has a long-term view and is in no hurry to leave. Everyone knows that there is a very strong capture of value”, says the executive.