Cargill Expands Gourmet Chocolate Options With Leman Decoration Acquisition

Schiphol, Netherlands — Cargill, Inc. has acquired Leman Decoration Group, a supplier of cake decorations to the artisanal, foodservice, small industrial and home-baking segments. The company says this significantly broadens its offerings in the decorations space, enabling its cocoa and chocolate business to better serve gourmet customers.

“By adding Leman Decoration Group to the Cargill family, we’re able to support our gourmet and industrial customers at every step of their journey — from concept to finished product,” says Inge Demeyere, managing director Cargill Chocolate Europe. “Our dedicated gourmet business will be a true one-stop-shop for all their chocolate needs, inclusions, decorations, couverture chocolate and now also, an extensive range of special decorations, all backed by a unique platform for sound customer service, including extensive R&D and printing capabilities, and the combined expertise and resources of two world-class organizations.”

Leman Decoration Group’s portfolio spans cake decorations, chocolate printings, sugar-based decorations and wafers. The family-owned business has customers across 55 countries.

“Cargill’s deep chocolate production expertise and established global cocoa and chocolate supply compliments our long-standing commitment to our gourmet customers,” says Didier Leman, owner of Leman Decoration Group, “By joining with Cargill, we can build on our nearly six-decade legacy in the decoration space and leverage the collective strengths of our complementary operations to better serve the full-spectrum of our clients’ need today and for years to come.”

As part of the transaction, all Leman Decoration Group facilities, including its three state-of-the-art manufacturing sites in Belgium, Mauritius and Thailand, and its nearly 450 employees will join Cargill, reporting into its Global Gourmet and Distribution organization.

Synergies between the two organizations extend to their Mouscron, Belgium-based innovation centers. Cargill’s House of Chocolate complex, with its chocolate experience facility, pilot plant and sensory lab, is slated to open in early 2022, while Leman Decoration Group’s R&D hub is located 1.5 kilometers away.

Cargill says the move to acquire Leman Decoration Group is the latest in a series of steps to extend its presence and product line in the gourmet space. In 2019, the company acquired Smet, a Belgium-based supplier of chocolate and sweets decorations while in January 2021, the company expanded its Kalmthout, Belgium, gourmet production facility.