Consumer demand for chocolate products continues to grow steadily in the Asian market. To help the food industry meet this growing demand, Cargill is partnering with a local manufacturer in western India to launch its first chocolate manufacturing operation in Asia. The facility is expected to begin operating in mid-2021 and will initially produce 10,000 tons of chocolate compounds.
“Asia is a key growth market for Cargill. Opening a chocolate manufacturing operation in India allows us to increase our regional footprint and capabilities in Asia to better support the needs of our local Indian customers as well as multinational customers in the region,” said Francesca Kleemans, managing director of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate Asia-Pacific. “It also demonstrates our commitment to supporting the local economy with the addition of 100 new manufacturing jobs.”
Customers can tap into Cargill’s research and development network of food scientists and experts located at the company’s state-of-the-art regional innovation centers in Singapore, India and Shanghai, China, to collaboratively innovate with chocolate products that bring sensory experiences in terms of colors and flavors specific to regional and local tastes and consumption patterns. Customers also benefit from Cargill’s globally integrated cocoa and chocolate supply chain, risk management capabilities and renowned food safety and sustainability approach to cocoa and chocolate production.
“Combining local insights from our experience and long-term presence as a food ingredient supplier in India with our global cocoa and chocolate expertise, we aim to become the leading supplier and trusted partner for our bakery, ice cream and confectionary customers in Asia, who will use our chocolate compounds, chips and paste to create products that will delight local palates,” Kleemans said.
Cargill established its cocoa presence in Asia in 1995 in Makassar, Indonesia, with a team designated to support trading and supply management of cocoa to Cargill processing plants in Europe and Brazil. In 2014, Cargill opened a cocoa processing plant in Gresik, Indonesia, to make premium Gerkens cocoa products. With the addition of the new manufacturing plant in India, Cargill said it is well prepared to develop and scale up operational capabilities quickly to support future growth for its customers locally, regionally and globally.