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Vice Consul Harold M. Collins, Dublin ; Vice Consul Log W. Henderson, Cobh It is estimated that Great Britain supplies about 70 per cent of the imported confectionery of the Irish Free State, France and Switzerland about 20 per cent, and the United States about 10 per cent. The principal goods coming from England are chocolates of all grades, from France and Switzerland chocolate bars, and from the United States bulk chocolates, hard candies, gum drops, creams, and caramels.
Since the establishment of the Free State in April, 1923, the domestic confectionery industry has grown steadily and imported confectionery is meeting with an increasing competition from the home product. Under the new tariff law there is an import duty of 335 pence per pound on sugar confectionery and of 6 pence on cocoa preparations.
Prior to the establishment of the Free State fiscal system virtually all of the confectionery from the United States sold in Ireland was purchased through British agents and importers operating throughout the British Isles; however, the difficulties incident to passing both the British and Free State custom barriers have created a tendency on the part of importers in Dublin and elsewhere to deal direct with exporters in the United States.
Exporters in the United States should appoint reliable commission agents to handle their Irish Free State trade and should, if possible, grant 30 days' credit. Confectionery is retailed in the cities in sweet shops, tea rooms, and department stores, and in country districts by general merchants. Wholesale distributing facilities at present are poor, and retailers import direct. American distributors desiring to develop the Irish market should, if possible, send representatives to study conditions and to become acquainted with the various distributors. If this is not possible, however, letters might be written to the dealers listing and pricing their products. (So few of the dealers are familiar with the dollar exchange that it is best to quote in sterling.) In sending samples it should be noted that a minimum customs' fee of 2s. 6d. (55 cents) is charged on every parcel of dutiable goods not plainly marked as samples. A delivery charge of 4 pence (8 cents) is also charged for every package received by parcel post from the United States.
It is believed by wholesale dealers that if American manufacturers would establish warehouses in Ireland, sell their goods to wholesalers under improved distributing conditions, and carry on an extensive advertising campaign a good market could be developed.
NOTE. Although few of the markets of Europe are capable of development by the United States exporter of confectionery, due to the highly developed domestic industries, it is believed that an outline of the industry in each country will be of interest to the manufacturers and exporters in this country. More detailed information on these coun. tries may be obtained from the foodstuffs division of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce.
Consul Carol H. Foster and Vice Consul Christian M. Ravndal, Vienna Austria is not a market for confectionery from the United States, due to the adequate supply of the domestic product, the excellent reputation of this product, and the protection given to the industry by high customs duties. A rather important item in Austria's confectionery foreign trade is the duty-free importation of raw materials intended for reexportation after manufacture.
Leading manufacturers estimate the present annual output of confectionery in Austria at from 10,000 to 12,000 metric tons, of which about 3,000 tons is chocolate candy. Full-capacity production is said to be much higher than this. Foreign competition on the Austrian market is limited to a few foreign specialties and fine Swiss chocolates.
The Austrian market, however, is a good one for raw materials to be used in the confectionery industry. Large amounts of cocoa beans, sugar, and sirups are imported each year, and interested esporters in the United States could easily obtain a share of these imports. American corn sirup has practically replaced potato sirup in the confectionery industria in Austria, the annual demand for this commodity being estimated at several hundred carloads.
Most Austrian confectionery is manufactured by standard machinery and is of very high quality. It is also tastefully packed and finds good sales not only in the domestic market but in other countries.
The present general import duty on sweets and confectionery is 150 gold crowns per 100 net kilos, with a conventional rate of 120 gold crowns per 100 net kilos, which applies to United States products; on cocoa mass, chocolate, chocolate products, and chocolate substitutes, the general rate is 200 gold crowns per 100 kilos. There is no conventionel rate on the last group of products, except in manufactures of chocolate, other than those entirely of chocolate. On such chocolate goods the conventional rate is 180 gold crowns per 100 kilos. The duties on this group are based on the gross weight, with tare deductions as follows: 16 per cent packed in boxes of hardwood, 11 per cent in boxes of softwood, and 9 per cent in sacks or hampers.
Consul Reginald s. Castleman, Horta, Fayal
The Azorean likes sweets, but the consumption of candy in the islands is relatively small. It is estimated that the annual per capita consumption is about a quarter of a pound. Candy is considered an article of luxury to be indulged in only by the comparatively well to do. Candy is usually purchased in paper bags, although the sale in fancy boxes is increasing. These boxes are very artistic and bring a high price in themselves. There is practically no children's trade in candy.
All the principal classes of confectionery sold in the United States are for sale in the Azores, except nut brittles and similar pan goods. The most popular kinds are filled chocolates, fruit drops, wrapped caramels, and chocolate bars. Peppermint flavor is not liked, and bitter chocolate is not generally sold. Chocolates must be wrapped in tin foil as a protection against the humid climate, and glass or tin containers should be used in packing.
The confectionery trade of the islands is almost wholly retail, as it is not sufficiently large for wholesaling. Dealers in most instances obtain their supplies from the importers and dealers in Lisbon,
Portugal, and they generally purchase in small quantities. Most Azorean dealers, however, are willing to import direct, as dependence upon Lisbon wholesalers involves extra expense and uncertainty, and if exporters from the United States would be interested in small orders it might be well to communicate with dealers in Horta (Fayal) or Angra (Terceira).
Consul S. W. Ells, Funchal
Fifty per cent of the imported candy on the Madeira market comes from England, 25 per cent from Switzerland, 15 per cent from Germany, and 10 per cent from France. Additional shipments come from continental Portugal. No candies or chocolates are made locally. Although the Portuguese candy is not of such good quality as the imported products, it is cheaper and is preferred in most instances by the consumers. American candies are liked, but on account of high freights, adverse exchange, and irregular direct transportation, candy from the United States does not appear on the Madeira market. There are approximately 12,000 American tourists visiting Madeira each year who would buy such candies if they were to be had.
It is believed that if a salesman were sent to Madeira to visit the principal dealers and commission agents a good market could be created for candy of United States manufacture, Prices would have to meet those of the candy of English and French make. The dealers and commission agents who usually import confectionery expect from 10 to 15 per cent commission. Advertisement could be handled through the daily papers. Packing for Madeira must be done with care, in tin foil and in tin or glass containers.
Consul George S. Messersmith and Vice Consul Julian F. Harrington, Antwerp; Consul
Herbert O. Williams and Vice Consul H. Armistead Smith, Brussels; Consul Clinton E. MacEachran, Ghent
The manufacture of confectionery in Belgium is important and the consumption of candy per capita is said to be higher than in any other country in Europe. Only a relatively small amount is imported. Antwerp is the center of the confectionery industry in Belgium, having 12 large factories, each employing several hundred workmen. There are also a number of smaller factories throughout the country. All the factories specialize in making cake chocolate, for which there is a large demand. Candy is also made in the candy shops and “patisseries " in Antwerp and Brussels.
There is a large surplus production of confectionery which is exported largely to the neighboring countries, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Great Britain. In 1923 these exports amounted to 1,881,990 kilos (1 kilo equals 2.2 pounds). Imports in that year amounted to 196,101 kilos, of which the greatest amount came from Switzerland, the Netherlands, and France.
There appears to be a prejudice in Belgium against buying candy already boxed; the customer likes to choose the size and type of box and select the candy to fill it.
Imported candy is handled almost invariably by wholesalers. The wholesaler takes a commission of from 10 to 15 per cent, while the retail stores make a profit of from 20 to 30 per cent, depending upon the class of confectionery. Import duties are as follows:
NOTE.-Duties are multiplied by coefficient. United States shipments take minimum rate
In addition to the customs duty, there is a transmission tax of 1 per cent, which is also payable at the customhouse.
Belgian confectionery importers state that it may be possible to derelop a limited market in Belgium. Expensive varieties of English and Dutch candy are sold to a small extent, which is an indication that the product from the United States may be sold if prices are quoted at competitive levels. To develop sales, it has been suggested that American firms send samples and quote prices c. i. f. Antwerp. The importer would choose from the samples and then order from the exporter a consignment of from 200 to 1,000 pounds, payment to be made after the sale of the goods.
Little advertising is done for confectionery. It is said that the Belgian public is fond of candy of new kinds, and there is no need for advertising. The publication, Patrons des Patisserries, published in Brussels, is designed to cover the interests of the candy stores and pastry shops, but the paper has very limited circulation.
It is suggested that American exporters desiring to market confectionery in Belgium use metric weights as far as possible, as this system is more familiar to the dealers.
Vice Consul Leroy Spangler, Sofia
Under paragraphs 107 to 113, inclusive, in the Bulgaria import tariff, effective January 17, 1924, certain goods not of prime necessity are forbidden importation. This prohibition embraces all forms of confectionery.
This statute gave an impetus to the development of the confectionery industry in Bulgaria, and many candy factories were established. Chocolate candies find an excellent market in Bulgaria. American confectionery has never been imported and is consequently unknown. Most of the confectionery is made by the dealers and is sold at retail only. There are no wholesalers.
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Consul C. S. Winans, Prague
The production of confectionery in Czechoslovakia is a well-developed branch of the foodstuffs industry. There is little importation.
Foreign products on the market are cake chocolate, crystallized ginger, chewing gum, and other materials not affected by transportation over long distance. The import duty is 2,600 or 1,200 crowns per 100 kilos, according to kind (1 crown at the present rate of exchange represents approximately $0.033, and i kilo equals 22 pounds).
The usual method of importing is through representatives and agents working on a commission basis, who distribute the products to the retailers.
(Consul Edwin C. Kemp. Free City of Danzig
The Danzig market for confectionery is limited to the retail demands of the territory of the Free City of Danzig with a population of about 360,000 and to a small distribution to the Polish market through Danzig wholesalers, of which there are about three of importance. The high Polish customs duty, which is applicable also to Danzig imports, makes the imports of cheap candies from the United States unprofitable, but as the local manufacturers do not turn out the highest grade products, and as the high-grade goods pay the same duty as cheap grades it is believed that there might be an opportunity of introducing the best grades of American confectionery into Danzig and through that city into Poland.
It is suggested that samples be furnished with prices. Terms of sale have to be considered carefully. Recent sales of goods from the United States are reported to have been made with 25 per cent cash on shipment and the balance cash on bank delivery at Danzig in lots as needed.
The customs duty under the Polish tariff, section 2+2, on confectionery is 250 zloty per 100 kilos, or about 25 cents a pound.
Consul General Marion Letcher, Copenhagen
The confectionery industry in Denmark is a very important one and is able apparently to meet all foreign competition. There are 390 candy factories in Denmark employing 996 workers, and 14 chocolate factories employing 1,242 workers. These factories produce high-grade candies of all kinds, catering to the consuming public, which is very particular as to the quality of its sweets.
There does not appear to be very much opportunity for the sale of confectionery from the United States in Denmark under existing circumstances, as the Danish public much prefers its own product. It is interesting to note that approximately one-third of the fine candies consumed are of homemade origin. It is possible that a market might be developed for certain specialties if the proper