Zurich, Switzerland/Chicago — Barry Callebaut Group, a leading manufacturer of chocolate and cocoa products, is expanding its North American footprint by building a specialty chocolate factory in Ontario, Canada, with a projected initial annual production capacity of more than 50,000 tonnes. Total investment for the facility during a period of 10 years is anticipated to reach $104 million.
Expected to be operational by 2024, the factory will focus on manufacturing sugarfree chocolate, as well as high protein and other specialty products. The company cites Information Resources, Inc. data that says the U.S. market for specialty chocolate grew 5.9 percent in 2021 to $14.7 billion.
The new factory in Ontario marks the company’s biggest capital investment ever in the region and will be in addition to the 15 chocolate and cocoa processing factories Barry Callebaut currently has across the Americas region. Two of these 15 factories are located in Canada: one in Chatham, Ontario, and one in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, its largest facility in the Americas. The company says the investment in Ontario fits its strategy to nurture its global footprint, locating production close to its customers.
“Consumers are searching for healthier and tasty solutions for the foods they love. ‘Free from’ foods like sugar-free or dairy-free are healthier options that also satisfy the indulgence they are craving,” says Steve Woolley, president of the Region Americas. Woolley adds: “Through the addition of a sugarfree facility, Barry Callebaut is positioning itself to be the leader in “Better for You” offerings for our customers, which include a wide range of low- and sugar-free solutions.”
“Barry Callebaut’s new and continued commitment to Canada is an investment in the talent of Canadian workers, our access to global markets, and our welcoming business environment,” says Katie Curran, Interim CEO, Invest in Canada. “Global investors will look at all corners of Canada for opportunities. Foreign direct investment brings jobs, stability and promise.”