For several years now, chococat, next to Hello Kitty(in Sanrio) has been a icon for Sanrio. This adorable cat is full on ferchandise, form posters, to necklaces, to nail filers. The smell of the animal is chocolate- of course. This cat is adorable- and there is nothing to dislike. While being adorable, this is now a U.S. and Japenese icon.
Chococat follows with many other famous friends of Hello Kitty, and it may seem that Chococat is the third whel compared to Hello Kitty, but in my point of view, Chococat should be equally appreciated in Sanrio.
In my opinion, chococat is the most awesome character in The Hello Kitty series (not including Hello Kitty, just meaning best of the friends.) But I don't think it is resonable to call Chococat, 'just a friend of Heloo Kitty's'. I think it is resonable to call him his own character.