BRAZIL – Nestlé, the global food and beverage giant, is set to expand its footprint in the Brazilian chocolate market with the acquisition of a majority stake in Grupo CRM, a leading premium chocolate manufacturer.

The deal, anticipated to be finalized in 2024, will grant Nestlé access to over 1,000 chocolate boutiques and establish a prominent online presence through the esteemed Kopenhagen and Brasil Cacau brands.

Brazil, renowned as one of the world’s largest chocolate markets, is experiencing a surge in premium chocolate consumption.

Nestlé’s strategic move to acquire Grupo CRM is aimed at capturing a larger share of this lucrative segment, aligning with the company’s ambitions to lead in premium confectionery offerings.

Laurent Freixe, CEO of Zone Latin America at Nestlé, expressed enthusiasm about the acquisition, stating that the acquisition will further broaden the company’s confectionery presence in Brazil, enabling it to enter the high-end segment.

Freixe noted that the synergy between Nestlé and Grupo CRM will create a unique premium chocolate experience for Brazilian consumers.

Renata Moraes Vichi, the current CEO of Grupo CRM, will continue to play a pivotal role in the company as a minority shareholder.

“Kopenhagen and Brasil Cacau offer premium chocolates that are highly appreciated by Brazilian consumers,” she said.

“We are pleased that Renata Vichi will continue to lead the company with her deep knowledge and passion for the chocolate business, people, and brands. Together, we will explore opportunities to further enhance the company’s unique premium chocolate experience.”

According to Market data from Innova Market Insights, in 2022, Brazil contributed to 34% of all chocolate confectionery New Product Development (NPD) globally, making it the fastest-growing chocolate market in the world.

Additionally, NPD in Brazil exhibited a remarkable Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 24.4% between 2020 and 2022.

Among Latin American countries, only Chile surpassed Brazil’s growth with a staggering 56.9% CAGR during the same period. e.

Latin America, as a whole, holds a significant share in the global chocolate NPD market, contributing 15% of all NPD, trailing behind Asia Pacific (20%) and Europe (50%), according to 2022 data.

In terms of sales value, Latin America closely follows the second-largest market, representing one-fifth of global confectionery sales.

Chocolate blocks (38%) and wrapped chocolate pieces (23%) emerged as the most popular NPD subcategories between 2020 and 2022. Notably, chocolate blocks accounted for 45.6% of the Brazilian market, surpassing the regional average. Chocolate bars (8%) also garnered substantial attention in Brazil.

Nestlé’s Zone Latin America segment demonstrated impressive growth, boasting an 11.6% organic increase in the first half of the year, outpacing the company’s overall growth.

The company attributed this success to strong performance across geographies and product categories, with Brazil standing out with robust double-digit growth.

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