From Pralines to Multinationals: The Economic History of Belgian Chocolate

40 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2015

See all articles by Maria Garrone

Maria Garrone

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS)

Hannah Pieters

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS)

Johan F. M. Swinnen

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS); European Commission, DG II

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Date Written: June 2015

Abstract

Belgium is associated with high-quality chocolate products and Belgian companies play an important role in cocoa processing. However, in historical perspective the global success and reputation of Belgian chocolate is a relatively recent phenomenon. Especially since the 1980s exports of "Belgian chocolates" have grown exponentially. We document the growth of the sector and discuss its determinants. Today, the very concept of "Belgian chocolate" faces challenges, as successful companies have been taken over by international investors and because its success has led others to imitate. Recently there have been attempts to protect "true" Belgian chocolate.

Keywords: Chocolate, Belgium, Economic History, Internationalization

Suggested Citation

Garrone, Maria and Pieters, Hannah and Swinnen, Johan F.M., From Pralines to Multinationals: The Economic History of Belgian Chocolate (June 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2621924 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2621924

Maria Garrone (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS) ( email )

Waaistraat 6 - box 3511
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

Hannah Pieters

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS) ( email )

Waaistraat 6 - box 3511
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

Johan F.M. Swinnen

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS) ( email )

Waaistraat 6
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

European Commission, DG II ( email )

Wetstrath 200
Office 15172
1049 Brussels
Belgium
+32-2-2960442 (Phone)
Not available (Fax)

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