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Global chocolate producer to acquire new Aussie cocoa plant


   

Chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut will soon have a direct presence and manufacturing capacity in Australia and New Zealand. The company is acquiring GKC Foods (Australia), a B2B producer of chocolate, coatings and fillings for Australia and New Zealand confectioners, to expand the chocolate manufacturer's position in the industrial chocolate market. Barry Callebaut, which supplies its chocolate products globally, is also one of the largest cocoa manufacturers in Asia-Pacific. It operates chocolate and cocoa factories in China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore.
"We strongly believe in the growth opportunities of the Australian and New Zealand chocolate confectionery markets,” said Ben De Schryver, president of Barry Callebaut in the Asia Pacific. “We will further grow our competitive advantage through the acquisition of, and investment in, the best-in-class manufacturing facility in Australia."
According to Euromonitor, both Australia and New Zealand have an average chocolate consumption of approximately five kilograms per capita. The highest per-capita chocolate consumption in the Asia Pacific, the research firm revealed. Meanwhile, a report from Nielsen showed that in Australia, demand for chocolate has been on the rise with the chocolate confectionery market in the country growing well above the global market.
GKC Foods has been manufacturing "Made in Australia" chocolate and confectionery products since the 1980s. Presently, the company produces a wide range of products, including organic and vegan chocolate for dedicated chocolate shops, gourmet delis, speciality food outlets, and critical national retailers. The firm operate a chocolate factory and a warehouse in Melbourne.
The new investment involves upgrading and expanding GKC Food's existing infrastructure; installing a new state-of-the-art chocolate production line, and the deployment of an integrated management system to enhance automated production. The acquisition also agrees to employ around 50 people at the site, including the firm's existing employees. John Borell, managing director of GKC Foods, said this new venture would ensure the successful future of his company.
The transaction is still subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions. Expected completion is before the end of this calendar year. The parties have agreed not to disclose any financial details of the transaction.

(Photo caption: A report from Nielsen showed that in Australia, demand for chocolate has been on the rise with the chocolate confectionery market in the country growing well above the global market.)



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