Barry Callebaut extends Indian operations with Baramati chocolate facility
The Swiss-headquartered Barry Callebaut Group has extended its production operations in India after opening a major new chocolate and compound regional manufacturing facility in Baramati, writes Neill Barston.
With the country experiencing an upturn in confectionery sales in recent years, the business has focused on expanding its presence in the market, which is continuing to engage with major brands as well as witnessing growth in artisan confectioners.
As the company explained to Confectionery Production, its Barry Callebaut’s new factory, which is its third in the country, is located about 250 km south-east of Mumbai and represents its biggest investment in India to date.
The groundbreaking for its latest facility took place in 2019, and its capacity is anticipated to be more than 30,000 tonnes of chocolate and compound, with its original opening date schedule for mid 2020 impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the company, the new chocolate factory, around 250km south-east of Mumbai is its largest investment in India to date. The site’s facilities include a warehouse, an R&D lab and assembly lines capable of manufacturing chocolate and compound in different delivery formats, catering to international food manufacturers, local confectioneries and semi-industrial bakers and patisseries.
Once fully operational, the 20,000 square metre facility will employ between 100 to 120 people, mainly within engineering and production roles. The location also features energy and water-saving solutions in the areas of infrastructure, production equipment and the overall facility energy control system.
CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique welcomed the opening of its latest facility, which comes after the business released its latest set of financial results that offered an encouraging sign of recovery for 2021 amid the covid crisis.
He said: “The new factory in Baramati celebrates India’s rich chocolate heritage and marks a new milestone in Barry Callebaut’s history of direct investment in India. It underlines our commitment to the world’s second most populous country, a confectionery market with great potential. In line with our ‘smart growth’ strategy, the new factory expands our local production footprint in the region.”
Wider growth in India
In addition to the new chocolate factory in Baramati, the company’s production network in India includes another chocolate factory in Pune (Maharashtra) and a specialties and decorations factory, also located in Baramati. Together with its existing Chocolate Academy Centre and sales office in Mumbai, the business added that it is well positioned to expand its work with customers to co-create innovative chocolate for local consumers.
Significantly, over the last four years, Barry Callebaut has seen double-digit growth in India, along with an enthusiastic consumer response towards innovative chocolate such as Ruby chocolate. Demand for high-quality chocolate has reportedly been rising, which has prompted a concurrent increase in domestic chocolate production.
Dhruva Jyoti Sanyal, Managing Director for Barry Callebaut India, added: “The opening of our new flagship chocolate factory marks an important step forward in advancing our business across more regions of India. This new facility underpins our ability to deliver a broad portfolio of locally produced chocolate products that meet the increasingly diversified needs of consumers in India’s fast-growing chocolate and cocoa market.”
The new factory in Baramati provides proximity to local customers. In addition to supplying industrial chocolate to food manufacturers and confectioneries, the factory in Baramati will also produce sustainable chocolate and compound products under the Van Houten Professional brand in the country.