Hong Kong-edition Ferrero Rocher, the distinctive gold-wrapped round chocolates from Italy, is creating heated competition among parallel traders eager to supply demand in the mainland.
Chinese chocolate lovers want nothing less than the Hong Kong version, eschewing Ferrero Rocher sweets from other markets.
Except, of course, those made in Italy by the world renowned chocolatier Ferrero SpA, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday.
The Lunar New Year holiday, which begins on Feb. 19, is driving Chinese demand for the chocolates in Hong Kong.
Some end-users who want to bypass the traders said the chocolates are worth the trip to Hong Kong because they are wary about buying fake ones in the mainland, the report said.
In fact, local shops source the chocolates from Italy, Poland and Canada and none is actually made in Hong Kong, according to Ming Pao reporters sent to chase the story.
Some of the products are manufactured in Italy but ingredients are shipped to other countries where the chocolates are produced in Fererro factories.
Those sold in Hong Kong came from those factories, the report said
Meanwhile, some of the chocolates were found without Chinese or English product information on the packaging which could be a breach of Hong Kong law.
A spokesperson for the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said offenders face a HK$50,000 fine and imprisonment of up to six months.
A large number of sellers on Taobao have been putting up suspected Ferrero Rocher knock-offs for as low as 8 fen each, 60 percent cheaper than those sold in Hong Kong.
Some merchants are selling Fererro stickers to copycats for 1 yuan for a batch of 50, the report said.
– Contact us at [email protected]