Tag Archive | "chocolate"

Ball collaborates with Ovidias to create drinks can with chocolate inside


An unlikely collaboration between can-maker, Ball, and Belgian chocolate brand, Ovidias, will see the latter bringing its novel packaging concept to the commercial market.

Ovidias are set to package its chocolate in drinks cans, maintaining freshness and flavour as well as protecting the product during transit, whilst remaining lightweight.

Storing chocolate in a can also preserves the full and creamy taste of the chocolates, delivering on taste without the need for additives. It also combines a longer shelf life with reduced impact on the environment, making this form of packaging an attractive, if unusual, concept.

The chocolates are individually wrapped before going into the can, before being filled with a small amount of nitrogen to protect it in transit.

Marco Turcatto, Marketing Manager at Ovidias, says: “We decided to make the move to the beverage can format when our founder was inspired by snacks and drinks in a hotel mini-bar, which were served in cans. After careful research, we contacted Ball and through close collaboration we have been able to realise a truly unique product.”

Arjen van Zurk, Ball’s Marketing Manager, comments: “The fact that manufacturers outside of the beverage sector are now looking to the aluminium beverage can as a packaging solution affirms the clear advantages and benefits of this format. Be it the quality and consistency of product delivery, flexible and extensive branding potential, or environmental advantages, the credentials of the beverage can are clear.”

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Mars to remove artificial colours


mars_productsMars has announced that it will remove all artificial colours from its human food products as part of a commitment to meet evolving consumer demands.

Though many of the company’s products are already free of artificial colours, by expanding the scope of the effort to its entire human food portfolio, Mars says it is making a commitment of significant depth and breadth. Products across the range of the company’s chocolate, gum, confection, food and drink businesses will be affected by the change, which will take place incrementally over the next five years.

According to Mars, artificial colours pose no known risks to human health or safety, but consumers today are calling on food manufacturers to use more natural ingredients in their products. Against this backdrop, Mars said it will work closely with its suppliers to find alternatives that not only meet the its strict quality and safety standards, but also maintain the vibrant, fun colours consumers have come to expect from the company’s brands.

“We’re in the business of satisfying and delighting the people who love our products,” said Grant F. Reid, President and CEO of Mars, Incorporated. “Eliminating all artificial colours from our human food portfolio is a massive undertaking, and one that will take time and hard work to accomplish. Our consumers are the boss and we hear them. If it’s the right thing to do for them, it’s the right thing to do for Mars.”

Today, Mars says it uses a variety of naturally sourced and artificial colours in its global product portfolio. Depending on consumer preferences, ingredient availability and local regulations, slightly different formulations and products may exist in different markets. However, all ingredients used by the company are claimed to be safe, and manufactured in compliance with Mars’ own strict internal quality and safety requirements and the requirements established by food safety regulators globally, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Removing all artificial colours from a human food portfolio that features more than 50 brands represents a complex challenge, the company said. Mars’ strategy includes partnering with suppliers to identify new ingredients and formulas that meet its rigid safety and quality standards, addressing all legal and regulatory requirements, and creating accessible ways to gather input and feedback from consumers throughout the reformulation process. The company believes the process of developing alternative colours, ensuring their safety and quality, obtaining regulatory approval, and introducing the new ingredients across the entirety of its human food portfolio around the world will take about five years.

Mars, Incorporated is an American global manufacturer of confectionery, pet food, and other food products with US$ 33 billion in annual sales in 2015.  Mars operates in six business segments around the World: Chocolate (Hackettstown, New Jersey), Petcare (Brussels, Belgium), Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company (Chicago, Illinois), Food (Rancho Dominguez, California), Drinks (West Chester, Pennsylvania), and Symbioscience (Germantown, Maryland), the company’s life sciences division.

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Barry Callebaut presents Choc37.9


handle_with_care_chocolateBarry Callebaut has launched Choc37.9, that is said to be an ideal solution that allows the company’s customers to offer end consumers a chocolate snack on the go that won’t melt so fast in their purse or hands; Choc37.9 is also said to be an ideal solution for chocolate applications or chocolate offerings in markets in warmer climates.

Barry Callebaut’s chocolate and compound recipes with an improved thermo-tolerance permit a melting point of 4 degrees higher than normal chocolate and more than the human body temperature, making it, the company claims, the perfect base for chocolate experiences on the go.

Trend reports of Global Chocolatier Barry Callebaut are said to show that consumers are looking more and more for chocolate experiences on the go. The problem, says the company, is the mess when the chocolate melts in their purse and hands.

To accommodate these consumer needs, Barry Callebaut has created several concepts such as a range of nibbles crafted from Choc37.9.

Barry Callebaut says that the thermo-tolerant Choc37.9 is also a solution for the increased demand for chocolate and compound products in warmer climates.

“Our new Choc37.9 offers great potential for tasty chocolate experiences in warmer climates,” said Bas Smit, Head of Global and European Marketing, Barry Callebaut. “Products can be displayed in stores, there is no need any more for cooled transportation in certain areas and the whole logistic process in general is simplified enormously.”

“I thought if we want to bring chocolate to countries like China or India, we needed to change something,” said Frederic Depypere, who contributed together with Project Lead Elien Van Steen to the development of the new chocolate, which the company says took four years of intensive research.

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Dean Foods launches TruMoo Calcium Plus


TruMoo-Calcium-900Dean Foods is launching TruMoo Calcium Plus low-fat chocolate milk to its line of dairy products. Like regular TruMoo, TruMoo Calcium Plus milk contains no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial growth hormones and no artificial sweeteners – and is made with 50% more calcium per serving than regular low-fat white milk.

According to the National Institutes of Health, Dean Foods points out that more than 50% of boys ages 9-13, girls ages 9-18, women over 50 and men over 70 are failing to meet their daily calcium requirements from diet alone.

“Calcium is one of the most important minerals for the human body,” said Katherine Brooking, MS, RD, Appetite for Health. “Not only is calcium essential for building strong, healthy bones, it also helps muscles, nerves and hormones function optimally. With 50 percent more calcium per serving than regular low-fat milk, TruMoo Calcium Plus chocolate milk is an easy and delicious way to help you and your family meet daily calcium needs.”

TruMoo Calcium Plus provides eight nutrients – potassium, protein, vitamins A, D, and B12, riboflavin and phosphorus, as well as extra calcium.

According to Dean Foods, the National Institutes of Health says that bones increase in size and mass during periods of growth in childhood and adolescence, reaching peak bone mass around age 30. Consuming foods and drinks rich in calcium, like TruMoo Calcium Plus milk, can help build strong, healthy bones and, as part of a well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis, the company says.

The company goes on to point out that recent studies have shown that, compared to juice, water or some sports drinks, low-fat chocolate milk’s unique blend of carbohydrate and protein is ideal for replenishing tired muscles. Its high water content replaces fluids and electrolytes that are lost during exercise. Unlike water or most sports drinks, Dean Foods says, TruMoo Calcium Plus chocolate milk packs the additional benefit of calcium and includes a balance of sodium and sugar – which may help users stay hydrated longer and regain energy.

“We are constantly striving to develop delicious products that provide nutritional benefits to our consumers and their families,” said Greg Schwarz, Vice President of Marketing, Dean Foods. “TruMoo Calcium Plus allows kids and adults to get important nutrients that they need – all in a tasty treat.”

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Barry Callebaut First to Collaborate with Rainforest Alliance to Train Cocoa Farmers in Cameroon


Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate, has begun training members of five farmer cooperatives in the Central region of Cameroon to enable them to become independently certified by Rainforest Alliance. Approximately 1,000 farmers will receive training in the next 12 months. This is an extension of the already successful collaboration between Barry Callebaut and the prominent independent certification body that began in Ivory Coast in 2010.

“We see a great opportunity to start work with farmer organizations and producers inCameroonwho are interested in improving yields and quality by growing cocoa in a sustainable way,” says Nicholas Camu, group manager of Cocoa Horizons. “It’s the first time these farmer groups are taking a serious look at the potential benefits of training to achieve certification. We’re proud to be collaborating with the Rainforest Alliance to help enable these pioneering cooperatives reach their ambitious sustainability goals.”

Cocoa Horizons is Barry Callebaut’s ambitious SFr40 million (Eur33 million) cocoa sustainability initiative, launched in March 2012 and designed to boost farm productivity, increase quality and improve family livelihoods in key cocoa producing countries in West and Central Africa, Indonesia and Brazil over the next 10 years.

Barry Callebaut staff in Cameroon will deliver the training in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and provide support in setting up internal control systems and improving administrative procedures at the cooperatives, with support of the Rainforest Alliance.

The certification training activities build on the success of Barry Callebaut’s own Quality Partner Program (QPP) with farmer cooperatives, started in Ivory Coast in 2005 and launched in Cameroon in 2010.

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Indulgence and Health Polarise the Biscuits Market


Two opposing forces within the sweet biscuits market are at work globally, according to Innova Market Insights. The treat image of biscuits is driving the premium sector forward, while rising health concerns have also raised interest in better-for-you products.

Chocolate biscuits have been one of the main beneficiaries of rising interest in the treat image of biscuits and the market has continued to see growth in most countries despite ongoing financial and health concerns. According to Lu Ann Williams, research manager for Innova Market Insights, this is probably attributable to the ongoing demand for everyday treats and the continuing tendency to “trade off,” by mainly choosing healthy options but then having an indulgent product as a reward. “Biscuits with some sort of chocolate content accounted for a significant 48% of the global sweet biscuits launches recorded by Innova Market Insights in 2011, although this was down from over 60% five years previously, perhaps reflecting the greater choice of biscuits varieties and flavors now on offer,” she notes.

While indulgence is keeping the market for chocolate biscuits buoyant, health can still be a factor in purchasing decisions, although not to the same extent as for some other food and drinks products. Companies have been endeavoring to improve the nutritional profile of their standard products in many instances and this may have inhibited growth in the specific healthier or better-for-you biscuits market. Nearly 30% of global biscuits launches in 2011 were positioned on a health platform of some kind, rising to over 40% for savory biscuits and falling to just over a quarter for sweet biscuits.

By far the most popular health claims were those relating to naturalness and the lack of artificial additives and/or preservatives, reflecting rising levels of interest in clean labeling. Over 30% of launches carrying health claims used this type of positioning, equivalent to 12% of biscuits launches as a whole.

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Bumper Year For Seasonal Chocolate Innovation


A quarter of all global chocolate launches in 2011 were for chocolate products with a “seasonal” positioning (eg Christmas, Easter, Halloween themed etc), reveals the latest research from Mintel. While global new product chocolate launches declined by 7% between 2010 and 2011, products with seasonal claims increased by 6% over the same period. And it seems that this year has seen a real hive of activity around Easter chocolate NPD as research shows that there has been a spectacular 45% rise in the number of Easter products launched globally during 2012 compared to Easter 2011.

In terms of value, last year the seasonal chocolate market represented a $4.9 billion market in theUS, up 6.4% on 2010. In the UK, the market is equally robust with 2010 sales at more than £500 million.

Marcia Mogelonsky, director of Insight for Mintel Food and Drink, says: “Seasonal chocolate is, if anything more “recession resistant” than the overall market, as the products have broad appeal as gifts for a wide range of recipients, from friends to relatives and co-workers. Easter has consistently led other holidays in innovation – and in sales – as it is a holiday with a strong affinity for confectionery through gift baskets, egg hunts, and other family-focused traditions.”

Today, the US accounts for the largest percentage of all seasonal launches at 18%, while the UK is the second most active region accounting for 12% of all launches, meanwhile Germany accounts for 10%.Canada has seen the biggest increase in seasonal activity, increasing 89% between 2010 and 2011, todayCanada accounts for 7% of all NPD activity. Other impressive performers between 2010 and 2011 are the UK, where activity has increased by 53% and France where there has been a 41% increase in NPD activity.

However, while seasonal activity is thriving, the number of seasonal launches aimed at children aged between 5 and 12 has declined in a number of regions over the past 12 months. In 2011, child-focused launches were down 62% in the USA; a pattern which is also seen in Brazil(-62%) a nation which is also struggling with controlling obesity levels. In the US, the decline in launches are likely to be tied to a shift in gifting habits. As many as 21% of parents report that over the past year they have switched to giving their children healthier treats than chocolate or candy for holidays. Meanwhile, in the UK the number of seasonal launches for children aged 5-12 has remained static.

“This change is not enough to affect the overall market in any significant way, but could suggest that manufacturers will be paring down their efforts to introduce seasonal products aimed directly at children in the next few years. It will be interesting to see if other markets follow suit in the future, as childhood obesity continues to be a concern.” Marcia Mogelonsky continues.

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Barry Callebaut to Become Strategic Unilever Partner


Barry Callebaut, the cocoa and chocolate products manufacturer, and Unilever, the global market leader in ice cream, have signed a new long-term global partnership agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, Barry Callebaut will become Unilever’s strategic global supplier and innovation partner of choice for its cocoa and chocolate needs.

This new global supply agreement builds on the existing long-standing working relationship and will nearly double Barry Callebaut’s current volumes with Unilever. Ultimately Barry Callebaut will provide 70% of Unilever’s global cocoa and chocolate products. This will be achieved under a wide-ranging joint business development plan involving close co-operation across the areas of innovation, sustainable sourcing, capacity expansion and value improvement. The parties agreed not to disclose any further terms of the agreement.

As a result of the agreement, Barry Callebaut will invest approximately SFr22 million (Eur18 million) in its worldwide factory network in order to prepare the capacity required to fulfill the long-term partnership agreement. The additional volumes have a ramp-up period of 12 months, starting immediately.

Barry Callebaut has already been an active partner in developing one of Unilever’s most successful ice cream brands, Magnum, including supporting the launch of this iconic brand across various regions in the last year.

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Barry Callebaut Acquires Spanish Company La Morella Nuts


Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, is acquiring privately owned Spanish nut manufacturer La Morella Nuts. La Morella Nuts is known as a leading nut specialist producing a variety of high quality nut-based ingredients for the food industry in Europe. The company has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the nuts business with regards to sourcing, processing and innovation that allows for a wide range of products.

Many of Barry Callebaut’s customers are asking for combinations of chocolate and nut products. With the acquisition of La Morella Nuts, Barry Callebaut will become a European leader in nut products extending its existing nut offerings with a wide spectrum of high-quality products, including almonds and hazelnuts, as well as specialty nuts like cashews, pecans, pistachios, macadamia and others.

The acquisition of La Morella Nuts strengthens Barry Callebaut’s market position in adjacent products for both its Gourmet & Specialties Products and its Food Manufacturers Products businesses.

La Morella Nuts manufactures about 8,000 tonnes of nut specialties per year and generated sales revenue of approx. SFr40 million (Eur33 million) in 2011 with 90 employees. The company was founded in 1986 in Reus,S pain. La Morella Nuts has two state-of-the-art plants in Castellvell del Camp and Reus, where its headquarters are located.

The two parties agreed not to disclose any financial details of the transaction. La Morella Nuts will be integrated into Barry Callebaut’s business Region Europe.

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Kraft Foods to Invest £6 Million in New Cadbury Packaging


Kraft Foods UK is to invest £6 million in new a shelf-ready packaging format for its Cadbury range of chocolate bars, enabling the product to stand upright in order to attract the attention of shoppers. “Installation of the new packaging equipment at the famous factory in Bournville will begin in the New Year,” says Nick Bunker, president of Kraft Foods UK. “Shelf-ready packaging allows retailers to simply remove the front of the case containing the chocolate bars and put it straight on to the stores’ shelves.”

 

The new packaging for Cadbury Dairy Milk, Whole Nut and Fruit and Nut range will entail springs fitted within the cardboard boxes to prevent the bars from falling down and to push the confectionery forward each time one is removed.

 

Kraft Foods recently announced plans to invest £50 million in its UK confectionery manufacturing operations while cutting the workforce by 200 people. The 200 jobs will be shed at Kraft’s sites at Bournville, Birmingham, Chirk in Wrexham, north Wales, and Marlbrook in Herefordshire. The cuts will be made through redeployment and voluntary redundancies over two years from March 2012.

 

Kraft will invest £6 million in a new biscuits line at its site in Sheffield, which produces sugar confectionery products such as Trebor, Maynards and Bassetts, to facilitate the manufacture of Oreo and BelVita biscuits in the UK for the first time.

 

The remaining investment will be made on a range of projects to upgrade infrastructure, speed up production, reduce waste and improve energy efficiency at three chocolate confectionery manufacturing sites – Bournville, Chirk and Marlbrook.

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Barry Callebaut Outperforms Global Chocolate Market


Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of cocoa and chocolate products, has again outpaced the global chocolate market with an increase in sales volume of 7.2% to 1,296,438 tonnes in the last fiscal year 2010/11 ended August 31, 2011. All Regions and Product Groups contributed to this growth.

 

The weakening of various currencies against the Swiss franc – Barry Callebaut’s reporting currency – negatively impacted both sales revenue and operating profit (EBIT). In local currencies, sales revenue rose strongly by 13.3% (+0.7% in Swiss francs) to SFr4.55 billion (Eur3.7 billion), driven by the volume increase and by higher raw material prices. Operating profit (EBIT) went up significantly by 15.3% in local currencies (+5.7% in Swiss francs) to SFr360.6 million.

 

Juergen Steinemann, chief executive of Barry Callebaut.

Net profit for the year from continuing operations rose by 19.8% in local currencies (+9.0% in Swiss francs) to SFr258.9 million, benefiting from the higher operating result in combination with lower income tax expenses. Net profit for the year including discontinued operations amounted to Sfr176.8 million, compared to SFr251.7 million in prior year. The reduction is attributable to the non-recurring loss of SFr82.1 million for the discontinuation of the European Consumer Products business.

 

Food Manufacturers Products showed good growth driven by higher demand for specialties products and fillings. Emerging markets performed at double-digit growth rates. The Gourmet business achieved strong growth, especially in Asia-Pacific andEurope. All Gourmet segments contributed to the growth. The global Gourmet brands Cacao Barry and Callebaut performed well above market growth. Global Sourcing & Cocoa significantly increased its volume, driven by the strong demand for cocoa powder as well as sales of cocoa products to strategic customers.

 

Juergen Steinemann, chief executive of Barry Callebaut, comments: “We saw another year where we delivered on our targets. We again outperformed the global chocolate market, both with our Food Manufacturing Products and our Gourmet business. This is a particularly great result in light of the recent crisis inCote d’Ivoire. With the sale of our European Consumer Products business we confirmed our strategy. I am proud of our performance in the emerging markets and the fact that we were able to also sign four new strategic partnership agreements. This proved once again the attractiveness of our business model.”

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Nestle Continues to Drive Growth in Europe €10 Million Investment in Spain


Nestle is continuing to drive its growth in Europe with a €10 million (more than SFr12 million) investment to produce different varieties of chocolate in Spain. The company has installed a new production line for moulding chocolates at its factory in La Penilla de Cayon in the north of the country. It is one of eight major investments Nestle has made in its manufacturing operations in Europe this year, including SFr45 million to extend a factory in Hungaryand SFr38 million to double pet food production in Russia.

 

The investment in La Penilla is the second Nestle has made in Spain this year, reflecting the company’s continued confidence in the Spanish market. In March, Nestle invested SFr64 million to boost production at its Nescafe Dolce Gusto factory in Girona.

Thanks to sales of Nescafe Dolce Gusto, Nestle Spain increased its exports by more than 40% in the first six months of 2011, despite the country’s tough economic conditions.

 

The new production line at Nestle’s La Penilla factory is equipped with technology for making new types of chocolate with different shapes and textures. “This investment reflects the importance Nestle places on continuous innovation,” says Bernard Meunier, vice president and chief executive of Nestle Spain.

 

The investment in the new production line will expand the factory’s annual production of chocolate to 7,000 tonnes. It confirms Nestle’s commitment to accelerating confectionery development, following the company’s expansion of its Product Technology Centre for confectionery in the city of York in the United Kingdom in September.

 

Nestle’s factory in La Penilla de Cayon produces chocolates and confectionery, cocoa powder, and infant formula. Around 40% of the factory’s annual production is exported to 45 countries worldwide. The new production line takes Nestle’s total investment in the factory to Eur75 million (more than SFr90 million) over the last five years.

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Thorntons Restructures to Tackle Declining Profits


Although it increased sales by 1.7% to £218.3 million, UK chocolate manufacturer and retailer Thorntons has reported a 37.3% plunge in profit before taxation and exceptionals to £4.3 million for the 52 weeks ended 25 June 2011. Trading was particularly challenging in the company’s retail business, with own stores and franchise sales down by 8.9% and 10.8% respectively. After exceptional charges of £5.4 million, the company was left with a pre-tax loss of £1.07 million.

 

Thorntons is restructuring its own stores business to achieve an estate of between 180 and 200 outlets, located primarily in the top 150 retail locations. This will involve taking advantage of the 179 lease expiries over the next three years to close around 120 stores and explore opportunities to close a further 60 stores in weak locations over the same time frame.

 

“In the year that marks the centenary of Thorntons, I am pleased to report record overall sales, despite the challenging retail environment. This highlights the strength of our multi-channel strategy, as well as that of the Thorntons brand, with sales of branded products rising by 2.2%. commercial sales have grown by an impressive 25.9% over the full year,” says Jonathan Hart, chief executive of Thorntons. “Our goal over the next three years is to rebalance the business and to create a profitable and sustainable retail estate. While we expect to see the weakness in high street footfall and consumer spending to continue through 2012, we are confident that this strategy is right for the company.”

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Barry Callebaut to Invest SFr25 Million to Enhance European Facilities


Barry Callebaut will invest nearly SFr25 million (Eur22 million) to upgrade and expand its facilities in Europe. The majority of these investments is planned for 2011 and will be fully operational by spring 2012.

 

In order to further optimise the factory network, increase customer proximity as well as to respond to increased demand for solid products, Barry Callebaut is expanding its chocolate molding capacities by building a new line in Banbury in the UK, and in Meulan in France. In addition, the company is also upgrading the chocolate factory in Banbury, incorporating latest technology and improved service capabilities.

 

“With the planned investments, we will not only strengthen our industrial footprint in Western Europe, the company’s largest business region,” says Massimo Garavaglia, president of Barry Callebaut Western Europe. “We are also investing in our network of Chocolate Academies to support the further growth of our Gourmet business.”

 

In line with the aim to accelerate the expansion of its Gourmet & Specialties Products business, led by the two global brands Callebaut and Cacao Barry, Barry Callebaut will build a new Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Wieze, Belgium, and is refurbishing its Cacao Barry Chocolate Academy in Meulan, France. At its specialty and decorations plant in Zundert in The Netherlands, the company is establishing a new centre of competence for chocolate decorations, adding to the current Chocolate Academy there.

 

With annual sales of SFr5.2 billion, Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate. Barry Callebaut is present in 26 countries, operates more than 40 production facilities and employs about 7,500 people. The company serves the entire food industry, from food manufacturers to professional users of chocolate (such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs or bakers), to global retailers.

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Barry Callebaut and Hershey Expand Supply Alliance


Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of cocoa and chocolate products, and The Hershey Company, the leading manufacturer of chocolate and confectionary products in North America, have agreed to a long-term increase in the volume of products supplied by Barry Callebaut, expanding the supply and innovation agreement signed in 2007. For this increase in volume, as well as other market share growth, Barry Callebaut will invest an incremental $15m in its North American sites by the end of 2011.New deliveries to Hershey will commence by the first quarter of calendar year 2012.

With annual sales of SFr5.2 billion (Eur3.6b/$4.9b) for fiscal year 2009/10, Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is present in 26 countries, operates more than 40 production facilities and employs about 7,500 people. The company serves the entire food industry, from food manufacturers to professional users of chocolate (such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs or bakers), to global retailers.

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Cargill’s German Chocolate Acquisition Receives Green Light


The European Commission has cleared Cargill’s acquisition of KG Kakao Verarbeitung Berlin (KVB), an integrated chocolate company based in Germany, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition marks a significant step in Cargill’s chocolate growth strategy in Europe, strengthening its position in Germany, the largest chocolate market in Europe, and creates opportunities to expand into new markets.

KVB’s two plants in Berlin will complement Cargill’s existing German cocoa and chocolate facilities in Klein Schierstedt and Hamburg.

The European Commission examined the competitive effects of the proposed acquisition in the markets for the procurement of cocoa beans, semi-finished cocoa products (cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, cocoa powder) and industrial chocolate. The Commission found that the merged entity would continue to face competition from a number of other strong players and customers would still have sufficient alternative suppliers available.

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Barry Callebaut Growing Twice as Fast as the Market


Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high quality cocoa and chocolate products, grew twice as fast as the global chocolate market in the first half of its 2010/11 fiscal year, ended February 28th last: Sales volume at the Swiss confectionery group increased by 7.1% to 706,570 tonnes, while the global chocolate market grew by 3.6%. Emerging markets and cocoa products for strategic partners were the main growth drivers.

However, the strong Swiss franc affected the overall results both in terms of sales revenue and profit level. Sales revenue rose by 3.1% to SFr2.74b (Eur2.1b) but in local currencies grew by 13.2%. Due to good cost control as well as a favorable combined cocoa ratio, Barry Callebaut achieved significant operational improvements. Operating profit (EBIT) was up by 4.0% to SFr217.1m (+11.4% in local currencies) and net profit rose 9.0% to SFr158.8m, and by 17.1% in local currencies.

Juergen Steinemann, chief executive of Barry Callebaut.

“Once again, we managed to significantly outperform the global chocolate market by growing twice as fast. We are pleased that our growth was particularly strong in emerging markets. All strategic product groups showed good momentum, resulting in double-digit profit growth in local currencies,” comments Juergen Steinemann, chief executive of Barry Callebaut.

He adds: “In recent months, we faced a challenging political situation in Cote d’Ivoire, the world’s most important cocoa growing country. In order to avoid supply problems we have put in place a contingency plan and stepped up our sourcing and production activities in other countries. We believe we have taken those steps necessary to enable us to honor our customer contracts and meet our commitments during 2011. However, our primary concern during this difficult time is the safety and welfare of our employees and everyone living in Cote d’Ivoire. We remain committed to the cocoa farming communities and hope for a peaceful resolution of the current situation.”

Barry Callebaut is confident that its good performance in the past six months will continue in the second half of fiscal year 2010/11 despite the challenging situation in Cote d’Ivoire. Barry Callebaut expects to surpass the average market growth rates and is therefore confirming its four year financial guidance.

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Strong Recovery By Lindt & Sprungli


Benefiting from improving consumer sentiment across its domestic and international markets, Swiss premium chocolate manufacturer Lindt & Sprungli has reported a 25.3% jump in net profit to SFr241.9m (Eur189m) for 2010. Group sales were SFr2.58b, showing strong organic growth of 7.3% during 2010 but growth in Swiss francs was 2.2%. Despite the negative currency factors, EBIT was 22.8% higher at SFr325.3m, while the EBIT margin improved from 10.5% to 12.6% during the year.

During the period of global recession, consumers had tended to shift to lower priced private label products; however, as the upturn set in the demand for high quality chocolates returned. All the subsidiary companies, except for Australia, achieved faster growth than the market average and so contributed to the strong group financial performance. The leaders were the two important North American markets (USA and Canada with the Lindt and Ghirardelli brands), together with Great Britain, Europe’s biggest chocolate market, where double-digit growth was achieved.

In countries like Italy, Spain, France and Germany, which had been hit by the economic crisis and the accompanying weaker consumer sentiment in 2009, Lindt & Sprüngli achieved substantial growth rates. Even in the highly competitive Swiss domestic market, Lindt & Sprungli managed to consolidate its leading position and further increase its market shares. Although sales in Australia fell short of expectations overall, the concept of the ‘Lindt Chocolat Cafes’ continued its highly satisfactory development, and the opening of further cafes is planned.

The strong results are in line with the forecasts already announced by Lindt & Sprungli in the spring of 2010, and show that the structural measures and adjustments made in the last two years have created a new dynamic so as to benefit from an upturn in market conditions. The balance sheet remains healthy. At the end of 2010, the equity ratio and net cash flow of the business stood at 66.2% and SFr540m respectively.

During the 2010 financial year, the major investment project to expand the US production site was successfully completed after four years of work. The plant now has all the facilities needed to handle every single production step from cocoa bean processing to the finished and packed product on site, and is no longer dependent on cocoa mass imports. This also optimises currency risks and transport costs. In addition, substantial investments were made to enter new markets, including the incorporation of a subsidiary company in Japan, as well as further expansion of the global network of own boutiques and ‘Lindt Chocolat Cafes’.

Outlook For 2011

Lindt & Sprungli expects the recovery of the world economy and the improvement in consumer sentiment to continue in the 2011 financial year. However, the unstable commodity market situation, especially for cocoa, is likely to persist because of political unrest in the Ivory Coast, the biggest cocoa producer. The trend of prices for other raw materials, such as milk, sugar and nuts, also remains uncertain.

With a full pipeline of new ideas and innovative products, Lindt & Sprungli is well placed to achieve further growth and strengthen its position as world leader in the premium chocolate segment. In 2011, the focus will once again be placed on market share gains in key markets. In addition, geographical expansion into the new growth markets will continue.

For the financial year 2011, the Lindt & Sprungli expects organic growth of 6-8% and an improvement in its operating results (EBIT) of 8-10%, in line with the group’s long-term strategic objectives.

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Orkla Brands Merges Russian Confectionery Companies


Norway-based Orkla Brands has decided to merge its Russian chocolate and confectionery companies – Krupskaya and SladCo – into one entity named Orkla Brands Russia. The integration process has already started. Headquartered in St Petersburg, Orkla Brands Russia will have about 3,350 employees and a turnover of approx. RUB6.8b (Eur170m).

Vadim Ter-Israelyan has been appointed chief executive of Orkla Brands Russia and the chairman is Paul Jordahl, chief executive of Orkla Brands International.

“Combining the best of both organisations, we will improve our competitive position in a demanding Russian market. The establishment of Orkla Brands Russia is an important step in our long-term commitment in the Russian chocolate and confectionery business. We will keep and develop the local brands, thereby maintaining the Russian tradition and proud history,” says Paul Jordahl.

SladCo has been owned by Orkla since 2005. In 2010, the company had net sales of RUB3.8b and 2,100 employees. SladCo is the market leader in Urals and South Volga, with production in Ekaterinburg and Ulyanovsk.

Krupskaya was acquired by Orkla in 2006. The company is located in St Petersburg, and is the market leader in Northwest Russia. The company had net sales of RUB3.0b in 2010, and 1,250 employees. Over the past years, Krupskaya has fortified its position in Northwest Russia by acquiring several companies and trademarks.

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Swiss Chocolate Manufacturers Return to Growth


The Swiss chocolate industry returned to growth last year following a decline in 2009. Over the course of 2010, Switzerland’s 18 chocolate manufacturers increased volume sales by 1.3% to 176,424 tonnes while turnover across the industry rose 2.4% to SFr1.74b (Eur1.35b). The higher increase in sales turnover was partly due to the price adjustments necessitated by sharp increases in the cost of raw materials. Of total production, 60.4 % was sold abroad compared to 60.7 % in 2009.

Generally positive consumer confidence in Switzerland had a favourable impact on demand in 2010. Domestic sales for Swiss manufacturers rose 2.1% to 69,829 tonnes and value sales advanced 3.3% to SFr898m. The share of imported chocolates consumed on the home market dipped for the first time in nine years, amounting to 33.2 %, against 33.6 % in 2009. Domestic chocolate consumption totaled 93,975 tonnes, including imports but excluding cocoa and chocolate powder, giving an average of 12.0kg per capita, up 300g on 2009.

Despite the continuing strength of the Swiss franc, export sales grew by 0.8% to 106,595 tonnes. The rise in value was a little higher at 1.5% to reach SFr845m. The largest growth sectors were chocolate mini-formats (15.0 %) and solid chocolate bars with no added ingredients (12.8 %).

Germany, with a share of 15.8 %, is the largest of the 150 export markets served by the Swiss chocolate industry. The UK (13.2 %) is second, ahead of France (9.0 %) and Canada (7.3 %). Sales in the EU area as a whole were up by 6.2% in volume and by 2.7% in value in 2010. The main reason was the rising demand in Germany, where export volumes rose 23.6 %, generating an increase in sales value of 16.8 %. There was also significant sales growth as regards deliveries to Italy (up 25.5 % in volume and 18.7 % in value). Meanwhile, outside the EU, the Swiss chocolate industry was able to notch up impressive sales increases in Brazil, Israel, Canada and Saudi Arabia.

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Roshen’s Sales Jump by Almost a Third


Sales at Roshen Confectionery, the Ukrainian confectionery manufacturer, surged by 32% to exceed $1b during 2010. Production volumes rose by 12.7% to about 410,000 tons.

During last year, Roshen commenced construction of a new confectionary plant at Vinnitsa in Ukraine. The first phase of building has now been completed. When completed the site will become the largest milk production facility in Ukraine and will incorporate the production of milk powder, condensed products and butterfat.

The first phase of the modernisation of Roshen’s Klaipeda factory has also commenced. Here Roshen is investing in the installation new lines for manufacturing high-boiled candies and increasing the energy efficiency of the plant.

In 2011, Roshen plans to invest $250m in building a new production complex in the Lipetsk region of Russia. It will be Roshen’s third factory in Russia. Construction of the 230,000 sq m complex, which will incorporate a factory and depot, will start this year and will be finished in 2016. The factory will specialise in the production of high-quality chocolate goods.

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Cargill Acquires German Chocolate Business


Cargill is expanding its cocoa and chocolate business in Europe through the acquisition of. KG Kakao Verarbeitung Berlin (KVB), an integrated chocolate company based in Germany, for an undisclosed sum. KVB operates two production plants, both in Berlin.

The two plants have a capacity of over 75,000 tonnes of chocolate per year and employ around 180 people. Upon completion of the deal, after clearance from the regulatory authorities, KVB and its employees will become part of Cargill’s global network of cocoa and chocolate businesses.

“This acquisition marks a significant step in Cargill’s chocolate growth strategy in Europe and our ability to better serve our existing and future customers,” comments Jos de Loor, head of Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business. “The acquisition will strengthen Cargill’s position in Germany, the largest chocolate market in Europe, and create opportunities to expand our chocolate business into new markets.”

KVB’s two Berlin plants will complement Cargill’s existing German cocoa and chocolate facilities in Klein Schierstedt and Hamburg. Completion of the acquisition is expected in the first part of 2011.

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Strong Annual Results From Barry Callebaut


Switzerland-based Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, reported strong results for its 2009/10 financial year, ended August 31st last. With a sales volume growth of 7.6%, Barry Callebaut significantly outperformed the global chocolate confectionery market which was basically flat at a growth rate of 0.3%.

All regions contributed to this growth. It was particularly strong in those regions where Barry Callebaut had made major investments in the past years – Americas (+15.6%), Asia-Pacific (+15.5%) and Eastern Europe (+11.1%). In terms of product groups, the group’s gourmet & specialties products business managed to accelerate its already fast growth pace, recording a sales volume increase of 17.3%.

However, the strong Swiss franc had an unfavorable impact on sales revenue, operational profit (EBIT) and net profit. In local currencies, sales revenue grew strongly by 11.3% (+6.8% in SFr) and reached SFr5.21b (Eur3.86b), driven by a higher sales volume and higher average raw material prices.

Juergen Steinemann, chief executive of Barry Callebaut.

Further operational efficiency gains, an improved capacity utilisation as well as tight cost management programmes could more than compensate for the anticipated unfavourable combined cocoa ratio, the adverse currency translation effect and fewer one-off gains than in the prior-year period. Operating profit (EBIT) growth in local currencies was 7.9%; in SFr, the increase was 5.6%, up to SFr370.4m. As a result of lower financing costs, net profit grew even faster than EBIT; rising to SFr251.7m – an increase of 13.5% in local currencies and 10% in SFr.

“We have managed to deliver top results. Market conditions were challenging with a still rather fragile world economy, a flat global chocolate market, high raw material prices and important currency fluctuations. Our growth strategy based on the three pillars of expansion, innovation and cost leadership, together with our robust business model, have allowed us to cope well with all these market challenges,” says Juergen Steinemann, chief executive of Barry Callebaut. “The main highlights of the past fiscal year were the successful negotiations of a major long-term global supply agreement with Kraft Foods signed in early September 2010, confirming the trend towards outsourcing and strategic partnerships; the opening of our chocolate factory in Brazil, the first one we have in South America; and the gratifying results of our increased focus on our gourmet & specialties business”

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Kraft Foods Opens $14 Million Sugar Confectionery R&D Centre in Europe


Kraft Foods has opened a European Gum and Candy Research & Development Centre at Eysins in Switzerland. The $14m state-of-the-art facility will focus on innovation and new product development for many of Kraft Foods’ confectionery brands, including the world’s leading gum brand Trident and the world’s leading candy brand Halls, as well as other brands like Bassetts, Carambar, The Natural Confectionery Co, Trebor and V6.

Worth $23 billion annually, the global gum market has grown by almost a quarter since 2005, and is one of the fastest-growing categories within confectionery. Kraft Foods has a number of gum brands with leading positions in markets across Europe, such as Hollywood in France, Trident in Spain, Greece and Portugal, and Stimorol in Denmark and Switzerland.

The new centre will be home to a team of product and package developers and quality experts who are responsible for breakthrough gum and candy innovation, such as the new Fresh & Clean gum product which is currently launching in markets across Europe. As the European Centre for innovation and technology for gum and candy, the team based in Eysins will collaborate closely with the Kraft Foods Global Gum & Candy Centre of Excellence, based in New Jersey in the US, to drive innovation and new technologies that support the company’s European gum and candy business and global category growth platforms.

The Center in Eysins joins 14 other Kraft Foods R&D Centres supporting the company’s global businesses including beverages, biscuits, cheese, chocolate, coffee and gum and candy.

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Roshen Plans New $250 Million Russian Factory


Roshen, the Ukrainian confectionery manufacturer, plans to invest $250m in building a new production complex near by Cosyrevka town in the Lipetsk region of Russia. It will be Roshen’s third factory in Russia.

Construction of the 230,000 sq m complex, which will incorporate a factory and depot, will start in 2011 and will be finished in 2016. The factory will specialise in the production of high-quality chocolate goods.

The planned 63,000 sq m five-storey factory building will house around 40 production lines. The production capacity will be 253,000 tonnes per year. The new 70,000 sq m depot facility will store raw materials and prepared products for the new factory, and for other Roshen factories in Russia.

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£4.6 Billion European Ice Cream Market Stays Cool Despite a Cold Economy


New research from Mintel Global Market Navigator (GMN) reveals that Germans are the biggest ice cream lovers in Europe, with Germany spending an average of £19 per head on the treat each year. Mintel’s research on ice cream sales in the five major European markets (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) shows that the nearest competitor to the German love of ice cream is France with £14 per head, with Italy and UK (£13 per head) reflecting similar tastes. And it seems warm weather does not automatically equate with ice cream purchase, as Spain comes in at fifth place with £10 per head. The research shows combined value of the five markets stood at around £4.6 billion in 2009 – up from £4.1 billion in 2008.

Indeed, it seems perceptions of ice cream as an ‘affordable luxury’ has outweighed thriftiness and health considerations in the recent economic difficulties of the past year. In the UK, premium ice cream has proved hugely successful and now accounts for just under a quarter of value sales. Overall, in the UK, value sales stood at £799 million in 2009 – up from £743 million in 2008 – recovering from a decline heightened by a succession of cool, wet summers. The value of ice cream in the UK is predicted to grow even further by 2012 to a massive £814 million.

“While Germany appears to have the biggest ice cream lovers, the overall European increase in value despite recession highlights consumer demand. The idea of ice cream as a ‘permissible treat’ has been taken on board by manufacturers, who have focused on more premium and ‘indulgent’ lines in the past year, helping drive market value forwards,” explains Ana Lourenco, Global Market Navigator analyst at Mintel. “Because ice cream is regarded as an occasional treat – over half of ice cream eaters indulge at most once a month – it has been relatively unaffected by a marked trend in general towards healthier eating. Low-fat ice cream is almost a contradiction in terms, since a creamy taste is a major reason for eating it. Therefore, the strongest ‘health’ trend in global NPD has been towards ice cream free from additives and preservatives, rather than lower in calories.”

The premuimisation trend for ice cream does not just stop in Europe. Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD) finds that on a global scale, premium lines accounted for 9% of global ice cream product launches in the past six months, compared to economy new product launches which accounted for 4%. Yet while ice cream is increasingly being seen as an affordable indulgence, consumers still express an interest in healthier products. Manufacturers have answered, with 13% of all global product launches in the past six months touting a ‘no additives/preservatives’ claim.

But it seems Europe still leads the way with regional love of ice cream, as Europe remained the most active region with 42% of ice cream launches over the same period, closely followed by North America with 26% and Asia Pacific (22%) accounting for over a fifth of the market.

However, when it comes to flavour, it seems that consumer taste for chocolate transcends nations and cultures. Chocolate was the most popular flavour for ice cream launches in 2009 across the five European countries. Indeed, over a third (32%) of the total ice cream products launched in the UK in 2009 were chocolate flavour, compared with 31% in Spain, 22% in Italy, 17% in Germany and 16% in France.

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Nestle Opens Premium Chocolate Production Lines in Russia


To consolidate its operations in the Russian and Eurasia region, Nestle has opened two premium chocolate production lines. Creating 149 new jobs, the two production lines, which were transferred from the Tuchkovo factory in the Ruzsky district, Moscow, to the Confectionery Union Rossiya facility in Samara region, will produce Comilfo, the premium chocolate brand.

The transfer of the Comilfo production lines allows Nestle to concentrate its chocolate manufacturing facilities in Russia and strengthen the Confectionery Union Rossiya factory as a key competence centre for confectionery products in Europe.

The Swiss food group also recently announced investment of SFr240m (Eur180m) to expand the Nestle Kuban factory in Timashevsk in order to replace the current packaging process with a full-cycle production of Nescafe Gold coffee. The facility, due to start production in the third quarter of 2011, will benefit from Nestle’s state-of-the-art freeze-dry technology which already exists in many of its other factories around the world.

“The Russian soluble coffee market is the largest in the world and has major potential. That is why we are making a strategic investment to increase our capacities in Russia using our most advanced company technologies and our wide experience in producing premium soluble coffee since inventing it in 1938,” says Laurent Freixe, executive vice president and zone director for Europe at Nestle.

Nestle operates 13 production facilities in Russia with 10 sales offices and employs around 10,000 employees.

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Kraft Foods to Sell Cadbury’s Romanian Business


Kraft Foods is selling its Cadbury’s Kandia-Excelent chocolate, soft cake and sugar confectionery business in Romania to Oryxa Capital, an international investment fund, for an undisclosed sum. The sale includes Kandia-Excelent brands (Rom, Magura, Kandia, Laura, Sugus and Silvana and others), related trademarks and the manufacturing facility in Bucharest.

Kandia-Excelent employs approximately 530 people. Kraft Foods will retain the Cadbury international brands, including Halls candy.

The disposal is in compliance with conditions set by the European Commission in approving Kraft Foods’ acquisition of Cadbury. Kraft Foods has already agreed the sale of Cadbury’s E Wedel business in Poland to Tokyo-based Lotte Group.

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Nestle Investing in Greenfield Factory in Russia


Nestle Rossiya is investing SFr60m (Eur45m) in the construction of a greenfield factory in the Vyazniki district of Vladimir region (some 300 kilometers east of Moscow) to produce a wide range of culinary products under the Maggi brand. When the first phase of construction is completed in the third quarter of 2011, the new plant will produce more than 30,000 tons of Maggi products to meet the growing demand for these products in Russia and CIS countries. The state-of-the-art factory will create 500 new jobs.

The development of the new factory is part of Nestle’s strategy to consolidate its production operations in Russia. After the investment project is completed, Nestle will transfer its culinary production out of the current site located in the town of Zhukovsky, in the Moscow region, to concentrate operations at the newly constructed plant.

With sales of around SFr2b in 2009 in Russia, Nestle is market leader in coffee, chocolate, infant cereals and culinary products.

The Zhukovsky factory will then be fully focused on ice-cream production and will be expanded with the transfer of production lines from Nestle’s Kuban factory located in Krasnodar region. Coffee production at Nestle Kuban will subsequently be expanded after the launch of freeze-dry technology in 2011.

“We believe in Russia’s huge long-term potential, that’s why we continue with Nestle investments into the development of local production facilities. With the new factory in Vladimir region Nestle opens a new chapter of Maggi business and sets a new standard for technology in culinary production in Russia,” says Stefan De Loecker, chief executive of Nestle Rossiya. “Our new investment projects and optimisation of production facilities will allow the company to use existing resources held by the Nestle group of companies in Russia with maximum efficiency, as well as to develop successful brands and strengthen positions in the Russian culinary and ice cream markets.”

Over the past 15 years, Nestle has build up a strong presence in Russia. The new plant will be the group’s 14th production site in Russia. With double-digit growth rates and sales of around SFr2b in 2009 in Russia, Nestle is market leader in coffee, chocolate, infant cereals and culinary products.

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