Barry Callebaut (BC) told ConfectioneryNews that the ‘rapidly growing’ markets in southeastern Europe encouraged the company to secure space in Serbia.
It will be the company’s first factory in the region.
“Expansion is one of the strategic pillars of Barry Callebaut," a spokesperson said. "Increased customer proximity will allow us to serve our current as well as new customers with a wide range of chocolate, compound and filling products."
BC's volumes in southeastern Europe have grown a CAGR of 3.1% from 2013 to 2018, while volumes elsewhere in Europe have declined slightly, the spokesperson added.
Novi Sad, Serbia
Located along the Danube River, Novi Sad has a population of about 370,000 people, according to the city’s website.
It is around 300km from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Budapest, Hungary. Within 500km to 850km are Vienna, Austria; Bucharest, Romania; Krakow, Poland; and Praque, Czech Republic.
Northern Serbia borders four countries, including Croatia.
Last week, Serbian president Aleksandar Vučić welcomed the BC delegation to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Serbian government and the city of Novi Sad, about 90km northwest of the capital city of Belgrade.
Added CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique, “Novi Sad is the perfect location for us: It is the second largest city in Serbia, it has a reputable university and thus offers us access to the resources we need to realize our plans.”
President Vučić said the country will benefit from having an ‘export oriented market leader’ in its food industry.
“Not only will Barry Callebaut bring state-of-the-art technology and expertise to our country but also investments and employment for our people,” he said.