Cargill to buy Belgian chocolatier Smet, expanding gourmet goals to include chocolate decorations and toppings

By Kristine Sherred contact

- Last updated on GMT

Cargill will add decorative chocolate supplies to its global cocoa offerings with the Smet acquisition. Pic: Getty Images / Bloomberg / Contributor
Cargill will add decorative chocolate supplies to its global cocoa offerings with the Smet acquisition. Pic: Getty Images / Bloomberg / Contributor

Related tags: M&A, Cargill, Cargill cocoa, Chocolate, Confectionery

Joining forces will offer customers ‘increased intimacy’ and a faster path to market with advanced decoration technology and production capabilities, not to mention a wider portfolio of gourmet offerings, said Cargill in a release.

Terms of the deal, expected to close in the first half of the year, were not disclosed.

“Smet enjoys great market recognition,” ​said Inge Demeyere, managing director of Cargill’s European chocolate arm.

Smet specializes in semi-finished chocolate products, such as shavings, toppings, decorations and hollow figurines. The 50-year-old business, owned by the Smet family since its founding in 1963, also makes finished private-label chocolates for brands around the world.

The chocolatier will fill ‘small or large quantities of special products,’ according to its website, in a variety of colors, flavors and shapes.

“Cargill provides us with a unique opportunity to serve our customers with a globally integrated cocoa and chocolate supply chain, a renowned sustainability approach and deep chocolate expertise,”​ said CEO Johan Smet.

Smet’s global distribution network spans 50 countries, with two R&D centers and five production facilities, including two fully-owned manufacturing sites in Belgium and Poland. Minnesota-based Cargill operates cocoa processing plants in 11 countries.

Cargill plans to leverage this global footprint with the 'full branded portfolio' of Smet, Veliche Gourmet and Vanova.

"As the Smet brand joins Cargill’s existing brand portfolio, their unique entrepreneurial capabilities will be leveraged to allow for a dedicated focus on gourmet customers,"​ a spokeswoman told ConfectioneryNews.

"It is our clear intention to maintain the Smet brand within the market."

Emphasizing the company’s commitment to the gourmet segment, Demeyere added: “We will broaden our product portfolio and services to artisans and chocolatiers, bakery, hospitality businesses and food service industries.”

Related topics: Manufacturers, Ingredients, Chocolate

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