Barry Callebaut speaks to ConfectioneryNews.com about a growing trend for customization, rising demand for certified cocoa and its $950m bid to acquire Petra Foods’ cocoa ingredients division.
Sofie De Lathouwer, marketing director, Food Manufacturers Western Europe for Callebaut told the site at ISM 2013: “People want to be seen and treated as an individual…You need to make products that they can customize themselves bringing their personality, bringing their identity into the product.”
She said that manufacturers should consider inclusions for chocolate or biscuits, fillings and decorations to bring out identity in products.
‘Demand for certification’
Barry Callebaut launched a new range of chocolate from Cameroonian origins at the show.
According to De Lathouwer, consumers are increasingly concerned about the origins of their cocoa. “But the first care they have, its sustainability and responsibility…there is more demand for certification,” she said.
Barry Callebaut claims that its presence in Cameroon allows it to source cocoa beans directly from local farmers, and to process them locally, in tune with consumers’ concerns about sustainability and responsibility.
Petra Foods deal
The company is awaiting final approval to secure a $950m deal to acquire the cocoa processing operations of Petra Foods based in Singapore.
“It’s for the simple reason that we grow in chocolate and to grow in chocolate we need growing capacity - also production facilities in cocoa,” said De Lathouwer.
She added that Barry Callebaut needed to vary the cocoa origins it was capable of supplying and said that building new cocoa facilities cost both time and money, while Petra Foods existing facilities offered a ready-made opportunity.
“We see from our side a lot of demand for chocolate [in Asia],” she continued.