Barry Callebaut expands operations with Europe Chocolate Company acquisition
Barry Callebaut has further expanded its confectionery manufacturing operations in acquiring the Europe Chocolate Company (ECC), a Belgian B2B manufacturer of chocolate specialities and decorations, writes Neill Barston.
As the company noted, the deal, the terms of which were not released, expands its strategic capabilities in allow the company to respond to food sector customers seeking customised orders.
The integration of ECC expands Barry Callebaut’s specialised chocolate moulding capabilities and allows the Group to offer tailor-made solutions thanks to ECC’s advanced in-house developed technology.
ECC has been manufacturing specialty chocolate ingredients since 1993. It now produces a wide range of industrial specialty chocolate and decorations in multiple taste and colour variations including batons, curls, chunks, leaves, and shavings.
Its flexible production setup allows it to supply a wide variety of customers such as biscuit, bakery, dairy, ice-cream, confectionery, and food service industries. The company operates a chocolate factory and a warehouse in Malle, close to Antwerp, Belgium.
The Barry Callebaut group has continued to expand its business presence in a number of global territories in recent years, including continuing the expansion of its academy centres around the world, as well as investing in new facilities in Ecuador, expansion of facilities in Singapore, and acquiring Australian confectionery manufacturer GKC last year.
Wim Debedts, Vice President Food Manufacturers Western Europe at Barry Callebaut, explained that it had enjoyed a strong existing relationship with the newly acquired business.
He said: “We have a long-standing relationship with ECC and strongly believe in the growth opportunities of highly customised industrial specialty chocolate ingredients. The acquisition will help us to further broaden our market position thanks to ECC’s unique know-how and its highly flexible manufacturing facility in Belgium.”
Furthermore, Eric Van Tichelen, Managing Director of ECC, believed the company would be entering a strong new chapter under fresh ownership.
He said: “I am very proud of the specialty chocolate business we have built from scratch over the past close to 30 years. Joining the Barry Callebaut family will enable and accelerate ECC’s growth with access to new customers, new geographies via a broad sales network, helping to accentuate our unique proposition.”