Barry Callebaut's American interests grow
importance of the US in its global portfolio with the opening of a
new $20 million facility.
Having seen sales increase from 8 - 10 per cent in the region over the last 2 years the Swiss based firm believes that the opening of a production facility will, "better meet the needs of its rapidly growing customer base on the US West Coast" according to CEO Patrick De Maeseneire.
The American region encompassing the United States, Canada and Latin America account for 300,000 tones of the 1,000,000 tones the chocolate that Barry Callebaut produces. Maeseneire has recognised California as the biggest chocolate market in the United States and stated, "With our new production facility we are better positioned to deliver… to West Coast customers quickly and effectively".
The 150,000 square foot factory contains production lines capable of manufacturing in the region of 27,500 tons of solid chocolate products a year.
It's hoped that the development will enable shorter delivery time along with providing warehousing, distribution and customer service for all finished goods.
When asked by ConfectioneryNews.com whether the business wanted to expand in America a spokesperson said, "we absolutely want to expand in the United States and the best way to do this is to be close to our customers with a physical presence".
She added that this technique had "proven successful in other markets".
The United States is an area where Barry Callebaut have previously shown an interested in developing as seen with the companies purchase of Brach's, America's sixth biggest chocolate company.
This facilitated the expansion in the US of the Sarotti brand finished product lines.
With annual sales of over $3 billion last year and encouraging signs this term, after announcing a substantial new credit agreement and more importantly new cocoa production facilities in Ghana, further growth may well be forthcoming.
Previously quoted as stating he did not wish Barry Callebaut to be viewed as a European company, but a global business, this may just be the beginning of a concerted effort to establish a real foothold in the American market for finished chocolate products.