Cargill delivers key move for Belgian-based Leman decoration group
Cargill has delivered a key gourmet expansion move in acquiring Belgian cake decoration and chocolate printing specialists Leman Decoration Group, reports Neill Barston.
The move for the company, which is widely engaged across the bakery, artisanal and foodservice markets is said to significantly enhance the global agri-business’s presence in the segment.
As a result, Cargill said the deal – the financial terms of which have not been released – will enable it to serve its cocoa and chocolate customers better within Europe and globally.
It follows in the wake of previous developments from the company including its 2019 acquisition of Smet, a key Belgium-based supplier of chocolate and sweets decorations. In January of this year, Cargill also expanded its Kalmthout, Belgium, gourmet production facility, followed by adding signature origins to its Veliche line of couverture chocolates.
“By adding Leman Decoration Group to the Cargill family, we’re able to support our gourmet and industrial customers at every step of their journey – from concept to finished product,” said Inge Demeyere, managing director Cargill Chocolate Europe.
“Our dedicated Gourmet business will be a true one-stop-shop for all their chocolate needs, , inclusions, decorations, couverture chocolate and now also, an extensive range of special decorations, all backed by a unique platform for sound customer service, including extensive R&D and printing capabilities, and the combined expertise and resources of two world-class organisations.”
As Cargill added, Leman has become widely known for its wide and creative product range, with its portfolio spanning cake decorations, chocolate printings, sugar-based decorations and wafers.
The family-owned business has cultivated customers across 55 countries by combining its strength for product innovation with a vertically integrated, end-to-end supply chain, offering a unique platform for unparalleled customer service. This approach aligns with Cargill’s goal of providing end-to-end, ‘bean-to decorations gourmet solutions.
“Cargill’s deep chocolate production expertise and established global cocoa and chocolate supply compliments our long-standing commitment to our gourmet customers,” said Didier Leman, owner of Leman Decoration Group.
“By joining with Cargill, we can build on our nearly six-decade legacy in the decoration space and leverage the collective strengths of our complementary operations to better serve the full-spectrum of our clients’ need today and for years to come.”
Furthermore, as part of the transaction, all Leman Decoration Group facilities, including its three state-of-the-art manufacturing sites in Belgium, Mauritius and Thailand, and its nearly 450 employees will join the Cargill family, reporting into its dedicated Global Gourmet and Distribution organisation.
There are additional parallels between the two businesses, with Cargill’s Mouscron, innovation centre, with its House of Chocolate complex, with labs and pilot facilities opening early 2022, being just 1.5km from the Leman Decoration Group’s industry-leading R&D hub. Together, these two sites are anticipated to provide a key platform for customer demonstrations, partnerships and innovations.