Key global confectionery deals herald improving markets

While the past 18 months have proved particularly challenging for many businesses across the confectionery sector, major investments are continuing to be made by some of the sector’s biggest players, which bodes well for the overall market.

This week, Barry Callebaut completed its deal to acquire B2B Belgian business Europe Chocolate Company, expanding the company’s already extensive production capabilities, as well as renewing a significant supply deal with US-based Hershey, continuing a valuable long-term partnership.

Similarly, Cargill has also moved to expand its operations in the past few weeks, acquiring Singapore-based firm Aalst (pictured). Its extensive customer base includes over 50 countries, exporting to industrial, retail and foodservice clients in key markets such as India, China, Southeast Asia, Oceania, Korea and Japan.

As previously reported, the company is furthering its production in preparing to start its first Asian chocolate manufacturing operations in India this month, producing chocolate and chocolate compounds for the domestic market.

Though confectionery majors are clearly in the mood to invest, there’s also been some encouraging news for small-to-medium sized businesses, with UK-based confectionery business Uncle Joe’s reporting a resumption of export trade to the EU with a key deal with a Danish company.

While this is welcome news, there are clearly significant issues facing trade within the region with Brexit trading complications that have posed logistics and financial hurdles that will not be easy to overcome. It is especially concerning that the UK is continuing to lobby for the deal that it approved only eight months ago to be re-negotiated in light of leading business groups including the Food and Drink Federation expressing major trading concerns.

So, there remain mixed fortunes around the world within the confectionery sector as we move into the final quarter of 2021, but the fact that many companies are reporting continued upward trends in sales figures is an encouraging sign.


Neill Barston, editor, Confectionery Production

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