BELGIUM—Cargill has opened a state-of-the-art House of Chocolate at its existing chocolate production facility in Mouscron, Belgium, strengthening its position in rapid chocolate development and consumer-centric gourmet offerings.
The US$21 million, 6200-square-meter center is an integral part of Cargill’s long-term “Journey to Joy 2022” vision to become the trusted solution provider for chocolate and is the latest in a series of steps to deliver a world-class customer experience.
“We wanted to create a place where customers can explore the entire world of chocolate under one roof, enabling them to taste, feel, smell and see chocolate in every form,” says Inge Demeyere, managing director for Cargill Chocolate Europe.
She continued: “At the House of Chocolate, customers can collaborate with our experts and leverage our resources to create products inspired by the latest trends. It is a place designed to bring ideas to life and quickly move them to the market.”
In the facility’s chocolate experience center, customers can explore market trends around health, sustainability and sensory experiences, and brainstorm new product concepts.
Collaboration is at the heart of the House of Chocolate experience, for it serves as the European R&D hub for Cargill’s chocolate, coating and filling activities and its 40 chocolate engineers.
It’s also home to a unique pilot plant, giving brands the opportunity to rapidly prototype new products in small batches for greater efficiency and speed to market.
Belgium has been a focal point of Cargill’s global chocolate business for many years due to its unique position in the chocolate world globally and the strong reputation of Belgian chocolate.
Cargill’s Cocoa & Chocolate business has operated in the country since 2002, and has extensively invested to meet customer demands for vegan, extra white, and sugar-reduced chocolate.
It has also strengthened its presence in the gourmet space by acquiring businesses such as Leman Decorations and Smet.
With 10 applications centers around the world, now including House of Chocolate, Cargill can closely follow the latest trends and bring innovative global solutions for customers.
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