Around €22m ($25m) has been invested in the new facility in Changzhou, around 150 km north-west of Shanghai.
The plan is to initially employ around 70 personnel at the new site, which will manufacture approximately 30,000 tonnes of fruit preparations, particularly strawberries, blueberries or peaches, for the fruit yogurt, ice cream and bakery sectors, as well as for food services.
At the opening, AGRANA CFO, Stephan Büttner, said, “We are delighted to be opening this new site after just one year of construction work. China is the world’s largest yogurt market and is growing fast. Their locations mean that our production facilities are in close proximity to major dairy product customers. The construction of a second fruit preparations site in the Shanghai region was therefore a logical investment in order to consolidate our market leadership.”
The Chinese yogurt market has nearly doubled in the last five years, partly due to the rising demand for yogurt drinks. According to Euromonitor, the yogurt market in China is forecast to grow by an average of 7.9% annually until 2023. In 2018, the per capita consumption in China amounted to 6.8kg per year, compared with Western Europe, at 12.5kg, and the US at 5.2kg.
Fruit preparations contain fruit that is either puréed or diced and used in dairy products or in the ice cream and bakery products industries. These products are individually developed and produced by AGRANA on the basis of close development-related collaborations with customers. In addition to the food processing industry, AGRANA also supplies its fruit preparations to fast-food companies and food service providers.
AGRANA produces fruit preparations at 28 sites worldwide. In addition to the new site in Changzhou, AGRANA also has another fruit preparation facility in Dachang (Beijing province), which was constructed six years ago, and a fruit juice concentrate plant in Xianyang (Shaanxi province).