Barry Callebaut expands South African confectionery presence with new network distribution

Barry Callebaut has unveiled a major move to expand its cocoa and chocolate operations in South Africa, through establishing a regional direct distribution network for the country, reports Neill Barston.

As confectionery production has previously reported, the business has sought to expand its presence on the continent, opening an academy facility in Johannesburg back in 2018, paving the way for further development.

According to the Swiss-headquartered company, it is opening up its Gourmet division of packed products for artisans and chefs to other and multiple distributors, while still including Garden Morris Packaging and Food (GMPF) as a distributor. Having worked with them for over 20 years, Barry Callebaut will continue to collaborate with the company for its semi-industrial customers, food manufacturing business, warehousing, and logistics.

The company’s expansion in the region will see an increase the number of distribution points and establish its position as a master distributor for South Africa and neighbouring countries  with a wide range of products from its gourmet brands. This will include the likes of Callebaut, Mona Lisa, Cacao Barry, and Carma.

By expanding its local product range and doubling the size of its local team, the company will meet the increasing demand for high-quality chocolate indulgence and support the growth within the African markets.

As the business noted, the South African food and grocery retail market is expected to grow at a CAGR of +4.9% between 2020 to 2025, according to figures from Globaldata, with an estimated value of $59.6 billion by 2025, which opens up opportunities for the confectionery segment.

Rogier van Sligter, president, EMEA at Barry Callebaut welcomed the move. He said: “Expansion is one of our four long-term strategic pillars. After more than 20 years of experience in the South African market, we start a new chapter. By setting up a direct distribution network, we improve customer proximity and enable the growth of our Gourmet brands in the African markets.”

His enthusiasm for the venture was shared by David Bowrin, General Manager South East & West Africa at Barry Callebaut, with the development set to mark another key chapter in the company’s global investments. He said: “By developing our own network in South Africa, we will better understand our customers’ needs and adapt our product range and local stock to their requirements.”

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