The Barry Callebaut Group has boosted its growing presence in the Chinese market by opening a new office and Chocolate Academy center in Beijing.
The facility will provide better assistance to Barry Callebaut’s local customers with onsite training and application support. It also recognizes the strategic importance of the Chinese market, the company said.
“As a global leader in the chocolate industry, serving food manufacturers and professional users of chocolate, we are excited about the great growth potential of China. Domestic chocolate production is increasing, and we have experienced double-digit growth in China over the last four years. Our confidence in the future development of the chocolate market in China, together with the desire to better serve our Chinese customers, have prompted the expansion of our footprint and distribution network across China over the next few years,” said Ben De Schryver, president Barry Callebaut’s Asia Pacific.
China has been a key target market for Barry Callebaut for over a decade. In 2008, it opened a chocolate factory and academy in Suzhou, followed by a relocation of its offices and academy center to Shanghai in 2010. The offices in Shanghai, which will continue to be the company’s head office in China, are currently being expanded.
Although the domestic chocolate industry witnessed a boost in sales volume recently, chocolate consumption per capita in China is still at 100 grams – with plenty of room to grow. According to analyst firm Nielsen, the chocolate confectionery category in China grew (in terms of volume growth) by 4.5% in the past 12 months.
Barry Callebaut also chose Shanghai for the global launch of Ruby, the fourth type of chocolate, in 2017.