Pod-to-pallet chocolate maker Barry Callebaut is set to extend B2B operations in Brazil's emerging market, with a new plant in the pipeline, and a distribution deal inked with agro-giant Bunge Alimentos.
Unlocking potential sales for its foodservice-positioned artisanal chocolate products in Brazil, the chocolate firm will seek to tap into Bunge's extensive business-to-business distribution network, that serves about 25,000 points of sale each day.
"The deal gives us a strong partner in the sale of our products in Brazil," said Josiane Kremer, corporate communications at Barry Callebaut.
"We will take advantage of their sales network to distribute our gourmet B2B products, like our Sicao brand," she told ConfectioneryNews.com.
At a time when chocolate consumption in the US and Europe dips as consumers tighten their pursestrings, hopes to shore up sales could come from emerging economies, such as Mexico, China and Brazil, that today account for about half of global growth.
ECD Consulting pitches the Brazilian food service segment, which includes bakeries, hotels and chocolatiers, at about 60,000 tonnes a year for chocolate and compound products.
Barry Callebaut and Bunge announced they aim to capture about a sixth of this volume, 10,000 tonnes, within two to three years.
In pace with ambitions to strengthen their presence in Brazil comes the decision to build a plant "to be nearer to our customers", added Kremer.
S.American plant, a first for Barry Callebaut
The Zurich-based company is "actively looking" for a location to build its new plant in south east Brazil. The firm is eager for the chocolate plant, their first in South America, to be operational by the end of this year.
“South America is the only significant chocolate market worldwide where we do not have a chocolate factory of our own yet," said Patrick De Maeseneire, CEO of Barry Callebaut.
The announcement to break ground on a new facility in Brazil swiftly follows the opening of the Swiss firm's €30m new industrial chocolate facility in the north-eastern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon.
Unveiled in January this year, with an annual capacity of around 100,000 tonnes, the plant is Callebaut’s third largest chocolate production facility and will supply Central and South American chocolate markets previously fed by the firm's facilities in North America.
Zurich-based Barry Callebaut currently has about 40 facilities - including cocoa processing and chocolate facilities - worldwide.