At a ribbon-cutting event earlier this month, Puratos Chocolate USA, formerly known as Debelis and the new chocolate leg of Puratos USA, said the new innovation centre in Wisconsin represented one of several initiatives launched to ensure "we deliver the best tasting chocolate, on time, in full and at a competitive price".
"The innovation centre allows Puratos and its customers to work together to design high end chocolate products for a variety of applications," affirmed the company.
In parallel Puratos Chocolate USA, that sells real and compound chocolates plus fillings, announced it had upgraded its manufacturing plant in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
"Significant investments have been made in upgrading production processes, packaging material, quality control, sensory analysis and safety so as to ensure consistent and relevant high quality products in a safe and hygienic environment," said the firm, a division of Belgian ingredients company Puratos.
Opening the innovation centre earlier this month, the ingredients firm also announced the formal launch of Chocolanté, a new line of chocolate designed to tempt the taste-buds of the US consumer.
"Each and every recipe has been created based on the preferred taste profiles of the American consumer," proffered the company.
Achievable, they say, by focusing on the best refining and conching techniques, and in parallel selecting the "finest raw materials", such as 100 per cent cocoa butter and natural vanilla.
The range includes bitter and milk chocolate wafers, chocolate chips and chunks, and dark shavings. In addition, under the 'wellness' portfolio in the Chocolanté brand are sugar-free chocolate wafers and chips.
Together with the formal Chocolanté launch, Puratos promoted its Carat brand of compound chocolate and cocoa & nut-based fillings targeted at bakers, patisserie-makers and chocolate users.
The firm also renewed "its commitment and support" to the company's top-end Belgian couverture chocolate brand Belcolade. Puratos claims Belcolade is the only Belgian-owned company manufacturing couverture chocolate. Production, they say, "is based on the tradition of true Belgian craftsmanship".
Including the US chocolate plant, Puratos USA locally manufactures and distributes ingredients for bakers, cake-makers and chocolatiers from four plants and five distribution companies across the country.
In 2007 parent firm Puratos pulled in about €900m in turnover, generated from 88 companies dotted across the world, and fed by 54 production plants.