The facility near Abidjan will produce chocolate spreads, breakfast powder and gourmet chocolate and will complement Cémoi's existing cocoa grinding plant in the country.
Maud Clarissou, communications manager at Cémoi, told ConfectioneryNews: “We are targeting the West Africa because it is a very developing market. We first launched some imported products there but if you want to be present in this market where the price is quite low you have to produce there.”
She said manufacturing chocolate in a cocoa origin country formed part of the company’s bean-to-bar business model. “And it really make sense to share our passion for chocolate with the cocoa origin country,” she added.
Chocolate making is rare in Africa
Over 70% of the world’s cocoa comes from Africa and while around 40% of global cocoa is processed at origin, less than 1% of chocolate manufacturing takes place in Africa.
Cémoi has sourced cocoa beans from Côte D’Ivoire since the Seventies and has operated a cocoa processing plant in In Yopougon close to the capital Abidjan.
The new chocolate factory will have an annual capacity of 5,000 metric tons and will be located beside the cocoa plant. It will employ 100 people and opens in May.
Cémoi sells chocolate under its namesake brand in the Ivorian market and plans to broaden its portfolio in the country.