Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2010 (Revised June 2011)

Zotter – Living by Chocolate

by Mukti Khaire, Stefan Aichinger, Monika Maria Elisabeth Hoffmann and Maximilian Georg Manfred Schnoedl


This case is about a boutique chocolate manufacturer's decision to grow. Zotter, an Austrian company that was a pioneer in the organic and Fairtrade chocolate movement, uses the traditional confit technique to make premium hand-scooped chocolates in unusual and innovative flavor combinations. Having done many novel things to educate the market about the value of premium, organic and Fairtrade chocolate, Zotter consolidated its market position within the premium segment of the Austrian market for chocolate. The company only recently started to sell its product outside Austria. However, the time- and labor-intensive manufacturing process and the high prices of Zotter chocolates limit the scalability of the company, even though the founder desires to grow. While the founder has many ideas for the firm, it is not clear which path would be optimal for the kind of growth he desires. The case provides students an opportunity to discuss how entrepreneurs create markets for novel products, and how they can consolidate their position.

Keywords: Market Entry and Exit; Entrepreneurship; Global Strategy; Innovation and Invention; Growth and Development Strategy; Manufacturing Industry; Food and Beverage Industry; Austria;


Khaire, Mukti, Stefan Aichinger, Monika Maria Elisabeth Hoffmann, and Maximilian Georg Manfred Schnoedl. "Zotter – Living by Chocolate." Harvard Business School Case 810-091, February 2010. (Revised June 2011.)