SOUTH AFRICA – The world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, Barry Callebaut Group, is seeking to expand its operations in South Africa with the establishment of a local, direct distribution network in the country.

To this end, the Belgian-Swiss cocoa processor and chocolate maker will take over the role of master distributor in South Africa and increase the number of distribution points.

This will be an addition to the existing partnership with Garden Morris Packaging and Food, who will continue being one of its distributors of its Gourmet business of packed products for artisans and chefs.

Having worked with GMPF for over 20 years, Barry Callebaut has reviled it will continue to collaborate with GMPF for its semi-industrial customers, food manufacturing business, warehousing, and logistics.

Barbara Queally, Managing Director GMPF said, “Barry Callebaut manages its Gourmet business via a local entity with GMPF acting as their logistical and warehouse partner.

“This decision was taken to be able to offer a wider product range, servicing better innovation and development in the extensive Barry Callebaut product range to the local market. We look forward to our continued relationship with Barry Callebaut.”

The new network will focus on supplying customers in South Africa and the neighbouring countries with a wide range of products from the Group’s global Gourmet brands like Callebaut, Mona Lisa, Cacao Barry, and Carma.

“By developing our own network in South Africa, we will better understand our customers’ needs and adapt our product range and local stock to their requirements,” said David Bowrin, General Manager South East & West Africa at Barry Callebaut.

By expanding its local product range and doubling the size of its local team, Barry Callebaut will meet the increasing demand for high-quality chocolate indulgence and support the growth within the African markets.

The South African food and grocery retail market, according to Global Data is expected to grow at a CAGR of +4.9% between 2020 to 2025, with an estimated value of $59.6 billion by 2025, which opens up opportunities for Barry Callebaut.

Insights on chocolate themes for the forthcoming year collected by the company indicate that health and sustainability are key drivers when choosing chocolate and experiencing indulgent flavors in new formats.

“Expansion is one of our four long-term strategic pillars. After more than 20 years of experience in the South African market, we start a new chapter.

“By setting up a direct distribution network, we improve customer proximity and enable the growth of our Gourmet brands in the African markets,” said Rogier van Sligter, President EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) at Barry Callebaut.

With annual sales of about CHF7.2 billion (US$7.9 billion) in the fiscal year 2020–2021, the Zurich-based company is one of top manufacturers of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, from sourcing and processing cocoa beans to producing the fine chocolates, chocolate fillings, decorations and compounds. The group runs more than 60 production facilities worldwide.

Barry Callebaut has also unveiled plans to expand its North American presence by building a specialty chocolate factory in Ontario, Canada.

With the factory expected to be fully operational by 2024, the total investment volume, over ten years, is projected to amount to CHF 100 million (US$104 million).

As part of its expansion plans, the chocolate maker has opened a new facility in Australia and inaugurated new regional headquarters in Singapore to coordinate its continued investment in the local and regional markets.

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