Cargill expands into Asian chocolate market with Aalst acquisition
At the time of writing, the US-headquartered company did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval. If it goes through, it will significantly increase Cargill’s Asia-Pacific footprint, adding chocolate to its existing portfolio of cocoa products already sold throughout the region, the company said in a statement.
Aalst Chocolate was founded in 2003 and makes products for retail consumers sold under its own brands, including Louella, while also serving B2B customers and manufacturers.
Richard Lee, Founder and Chief Executive of Aalst, said: “We are proud of Aalst Chocolate’s heritage as a Singapore company with a renowned presence of over 18 years in Asia’s chocolate industry. Together with Cargill’s global expertise and experience, we believe that this new venture will be well-positioned to harness the full potential of exciting synergetic growth possibilities and become an ideal integrated chocolate solution provider for our customers.”
Cargill is also set to open its first Asian chocolate manufacturing operation in India later in the year, producing chocolate and chocolate compounds for the domestic market.
The Minnesota-based company opened its first Asian cocoa processing facility in Gresik, Indonesia, in 2014, and successfully introduced its Gerkens brand of cocoa powders for the region in 2019.
“The rapidly growing Asian marketplace is increasingly wielding its influence around the globe, sparking inspiration and driving international trends,” said Francesca Kleemans, Managing Director for Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate Asia-Pacific. “Joining with Aalst strengthens our position in this critical region, enabling us to become the supplier-of-choice for industrial and foodservice customers. With an expanded selection of value-added and specialty chocolate products and deep technical expertise, together we can accelerate innovation, better helping customers create products that continue to surprise and delight.”