Chinese confectioner Au’some invests in its first US factory

By Helen Glaberson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags North america United states Europe

Chinese confectioner Au’some is to expand into the developed markets by investing $6m into its first North American manufacturing facility.

Through its new Sumter unit in South Carolina, the company expects to generate 120 new jobs over the next five years. Au’some aims to begin production in the third quarter of 2011.

“This facility will allow us to better serve our customers throughout North America.Sumter County provided us with an existing building to suit our needs and South Carolina provides us with an excellent business environment and a talented workforce. This is a big step for our company and we look forward to bringing this facility online,”​ said David Tsu, Au’some CEO.

Au’some has already established sales and distribution networks with offices in North America, Asia, Europe and UK.

In the US the Hong Kong-based company has been selling its products to major retailers in the US, such as Walmart, Target, Walgreens and CVS for several years.

Established in 1998, Au’some is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Candy Novelty Works Limited, a 50-year-old company and claims to be one of the largest “interactive candy” manufacturers in the world.

Lotte expansion

Other Asian confectioners have also expanded into developed markets such as North America and Europe.

Japanese giant Lotte has publically stated its intention to increase its share of global confectionery sales by 20 per cent in the next few years. July saw it acquiring the Wedel business in Poland from Kraft Foods, which it has been forced to sell under European Commission competition rules following its takeover of Cadbury.

Meanwhile, the acquisition of Belgian firm Guylian in mid-2008 for €105m spring boarded the Asian conglomerate into the European premium chocolate sector.

Euromonitor packaged food analyst Ildikó Szalai said that over 80 per cent of Lotte’s sales come from mature markets in Japan and Korea.

“The group is looking to grow its confectionery portfolio, and while India or China might may more logistic expansion target markets, takeover of a significant premium European confectionery asset would better serve its global growth plans,” ​said​Szalai.

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