Lindt & Sprüngli progresses €74 million investment in Swiss cocoa processing site
Premium chocolate group Lindt & Sprüngli has embarked on a major investment plan totalling €74 million into expanding capacity at its Swiss production base in Olten, reports Neill Barston.
The facility manufactures cocoa mass for its European operations, with construction work starting to progress on the venture, which stands as part of its wider development strategies.
Having amassed a total of 175 years history in Switzerland, Lindt & Sprüngli is deeply committed to its core home as a business location and invests continuously in the expansion of its three sites in Kilchberg, Olten and Altendorf.
Cocoa mass has been manufactured in Olten for the Lindt brand since 1991, initially exclusively for the production facility in Kilchberg near Zurich. Since then, the significance of the plant in Olten for the Lindt & Sprüngli Group as a whole has increased steadily, and it has evolved into the largest and most important cocoa mass plant within the global production network.
Lindt & Sprüngli stands as one of the few major manufacturers to produce chocolate from “bean to bar”. This begins with the purchase of the cocoa beans, continues with the production of its own cocoa mass, and ends with refining this into premium chocolate, with Olten playing a significant role.
Its extensive process expertise and decades of experience in manufacturing enable it to ensure that Lindt’s high quality standards are sustained. All European production facilities are supplied with Swiss cocoa mass from Olten. The cocoa mass delivered from Olten then undergoes further processing and refinement, to rigorous Swiss manufacturing standards, at the production facilities in Switzerland, Germany, Italy and France.
“The expansion and modernization of the Lindt Cocoa Center will enable us to increase the capacity of the plant by 50% from 2024 and to keep pace with anticipated market demand. Together with the last expansion in 2018, a total of over 100 million Swiss francs will have been invested in the Olten facility within a very short period”, says Marco Peter, CEO of Lindt & Sprüngli Switzerland.
The focus in 2021 is on the additional expansion of production and of production-related areas at the plant. The expansion will include new production lines, a new loading bay for cocoa mass, a state-of-the-art laboratory and the redesign of the plant’s administrative offices. This extensive enlargement will significantly alter and influence the exterior design of the plant.
In addition, optimised plant logistics regarding inbound and outbound deliveries will lead to an improvement in the flow of traffic using the public infrastructure around the plant premises.
Dieter Weisskopf, CEO of the Lindt & Sprüngli Group, commented: “Our new investment is evidence of our firm commitment to Switzerland as a business location. The new capacity provided by the plant’s expansion into an ultramodern and efficient cocoa mass production facility will thus secure the long-term supply of all the production sites in Europe and the future growth of the Lindt & Sprüngli Group as a whole.”