With the finalisation of its acquisition of GKC Foods, chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut has established its own operations and manufacturing capacity in Australia. Melbourne-based GKC is a contract producer of chocolate, coatings and fillings for consumer brands.
Barry Callebaut said the acquisition was a strategic one to establish a direct presence and manufacturing capacity in Australia. “The acquisition of GKC Foods empowers the group to expand its position in the industrial chocolate market and to leverage its value-adding Gourmet & Specialties business in Australia and New Zealand,” it said.
GKC is based in Melbourne, privately owned and had been in operation since the 1980s. It produces chocolate, organic and vegan chocolate, coatings and fillings to consumer brands, dedicated chocolate shops, gourmet delis, specialty food outlets, and key national retailers in Australia and New Zealand.
The company’s investment will upgrade and expand the existing factory’s infrastructure, installing a new state-of-the-art chocolate production line and an integrated management system to enhance automated production.
Barry Callebaut Asia Pacific president Ben De Schryver said: “We are happy to welcome the team of GKC Foods to the Barry Callebaut family. The heritage and local knowledge GKC Foods has built since the 1980s, combined with the expertise, the state of the art manufacturing processes and the capabilities of an undisputed leader in chocolate and cocoa innovation will bring further excellence to the Australia and New Zealand markets. We strongly believe in the growth opportunities in these still largely captive markets.”
Barry Callebaut said Australia and New Zealand have an average chocolate consumption of approximately 5 kilograms per capita, the highest per-capita chocolate consumption in Asia Pacific, according to Euromonitor. In Australia, demand for chocolate has been on the rise – the chocolate confectionery market in the country grew well above the global market according to Nielsen.
The parties have agreed not to disclose any financial details of the transaction.