Cargill acquires Leman Decoration to expand gourmet chocolate offerings

US – American multinational food company, Cargill has acquired Leman Decoration Group, a supplier of cake decorations to the bakery sector, to bolster its gourmet chocolate offerings.  

Currently Cargill is the second largest chocolate company globally and serves the gourmet market with its Veliche Gourmet, Smet, and Vanova brands.

Leman Decoration Group’s portfolio spans cake decorations, chocolate printings, sugar-based decorations and wafers.

The family-owned business has customers across 55 countries, combining its strength for product innovation with a vertically integrated, end-to-end supply chain, offering a platform for customer service.

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Its acquisition significantly broadens Cargill’s offerings in the decorations space, enabling the company’s cocoa and chocolate business to better serve gourmet customers in Europe and across the globe.

“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.

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 is slated to open in early 2022, while Leman Decoration group’s R&D hub is located just 1.5 kilometers away.

Together, these centers will provide an unrivaled platform for customer demonstrations, partnerships and innovations.

“Our 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,” Demeyere adds.

Cargill’s move to acquire Leman Decoration is the latest in a series of steps to extend its presence and product line in the gourmet space.

In 2019, Cargill acquired Smet, a leading Belgium-based supplier of chocolate and sweets decorations, while in January 2021, the company expanded its Kalmthout, Belgium, gourmet production facility.

In March, Cargill added signature origins to its Veliche line of couverture chocolates.

Other notable investments by Cargill in the gourmet segment include acquisitions of ADM’s global chocolate business in 2015.

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