Barry Callebaut unveils third key Indian confectionery manufacturing site

Barry Callebaut has delivered a ground breaking ceremony for its third confectionery manufacturing site in India, as part of a total investment of CHF 50 million into the country over the past five years, writes Neill Barston.

Its latest chocolate and compound factory will be located in the Ghiloth industrial area, in Neemrana,120 km southwest of Delhi, with the nation set to become the largest regional player for the company’s operations.

Notably, the new greenfield facility will cover a total of 20,000m2 and is scheduled to be operational in 2024, including state-of-the-art assembly lines capable of manufacturing chocolate and compound in different delivery formats, catering to the various needs of its customers – international food manufacturers, local confectioneries and semi-industrial bakers and patisseries. The new facility will also house a warehouse and a research and development laboratory.

Its emergence comes in the wake of the company’s announcement earlier this month of its Second Generation chocolate, which has targeted the premium confectionery segment with a new luxury line featuring cocoa reportedly sourced from Ecuador that promises to be its most sustainably-produced yet, in entirely revisiting its processing chains from the farm upwards.

The company’s latest investment in India reaffirms its commitment to the country during the past 15 years. Since the opening of the first Chocolate Academy centre in Mumbai in 2007, the business has continuously invested in the Indian chocolate and cocoa market. It now operates two factories in Baramat, producing high-quality chocolate and compound. The business is one of the largest chocolate and cocoa manufacturers in Asia Pacific. Employing more than 1,900 employees in the region.

Jo Thys, the company’s president for Asia Pacific, welcomed the development of its latest facilities: “As a global leader in the chocolate industry, India is a key market for Barry Callebaut in Region Asia Pacific. Our ambition in India is to become the market leader for high-quality chocolate and cocoa products. The creation of our third factory in India clearly displays Barry Callebaut’s confidence in this growth market and enables us to get even closer to our customers.”

Moreover, Dhruva Jyoti Sanyal, Managing Director for its India operations, also believed the site, once complete, would have a marked impact on its business in the region.

He said: “India is among the fastest growing chocolate markets in the world. Over the years, we have invested significantly in our local manufacturing and sales capabilities, which positions us well for the future. The new factory will act as a northern hub, bring us closer to customers and create opportunities for us to introduce our high-quality products and industry-leading innovations.”

The expansion of the group’s footprint in India is tied to the country’s rapidly developing demand for high-quality chocolate, and will serve to meet the growing needs of its customers.

As the business noted, sales volume of chocolate confectionery in India grew +26% in 2021 and at a CAGR of +10% between 2017-2021, according to Nielsen. Significantly, Barry Callebaut has achieved double-digit volume growth in India over the last five years and currently has more than 160 employees in the country.

The company has built its presence in India by serving food manufacturers, and established a strong network of nationwide distribution and committed channel partners over the years. It also imports to India its global gourmet chocolate brands including Callebaut, Cacao Barry, and Mona Lisa. In recent months, the firm has also unveiled several innovative chocolate products to its customers in India, including its first dairy-free, plant-based chocolate and WholeFruit chocolate, which is made from 100% cacao fruit.

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