Almond Roca in China

Ribbon-Cutting for the news packaging in China (from left): Derek Lai, Sims Trading China; Yew Kong Kok, Sims Trading China; John Melin, Brown & Haley;ROCA Models; Jay Inslee, Washington State Governor; Bud Hover, Washington State Director of Agriculture. Photos provided.

Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee helped Brown & Haley launch its new packaging for its ROCA Buttercrunch in China last week while on a trade mission to the country. 

The event, held at SOGO Department Store in Shanghai, Nov. 16, featured classical violinists and models on a red carpet catwalk, which immediately drew a large crowd. But it was Governor Inslee who was the star — introducing the new packaging, relating personal stories and cutting a ceremonial ribbon.

“I am the number one fan of ALMOND ROCA in the world!” Governor Inslee proclaimed to the crowd. “I want to thank people in China for understanding what a wonderful candy this is. I can make you a guarantee — anyone who eats ALMOND ROCA candy will smile.” 

Almond Roca in China
Gov. Jay Inslee holds up the ROCA packaging. 

The new packaging design presents a sophisticated face for the ROCA brand, including new custom-drawn logotypes. The front features a flavor panel reminiscent of clutch purses from the art deco era in France. “ROCA Pink,” a trademark of the brand since the 1920’s, unifies the appearance of all ROCA flavors, including Dark, Macadamia, Cashew and Mocha Roca.

ALMOND ROCA represents the best of Washington State — high quality, great taste and beautiful new packaging!” Governor Inslee told the crowd. “It is my favorite candy, and I know it should be on the table of every Chinese family.”

Brown & Haley began formal exports of ALMOND ROCA buttercrunch to China in 1988. With its luxury heritage and high quality ingredients, ALMOND ROCA became very popular in China, especially as a distinctive, impressive gift for Chinese New Year.

Over the past 10 years, ROCA sales in China have grown seven-fold, and now represent more than 15 percent of global sales.

“This impressive packaging design clearly communicates that ROCA is a premium gift made from the very best ingredients.” says John Melin, chief operating officer of Brown & Haley. “The Governor being here underlines the importance of our China market, and the appeal of ALMOND ROCA to Chinese consumers.”

Brown & Haley is a Tacoma, Washington food company founded in 1912. The company has been making ALMOND ROCA Buttercrunch since 1923 and exports the product to more than 60 countries around the world.