ITALY – Nestlé, a multinational food and beverage company, is set to invest US$6.9 million in the production of white chocolate at its San Sisto plant in Italy.

The strategic investment aims to modernize the white chocolate production line and make the factory the sole producer of the Galak and Milkybar white chocolate brands for European markets.

The modernization of the white chocolate production line is expected to be completed by mid-2024. As part of the upgrade, Nestlé plans to introduce more advanced and high-performance technology for packaging the chocolate bars.

Nestlé anticipates a 15% increase in production volumes starting in 2025 compared to the current production levels.

The San Sisto plant, where this investment is being made, plays a central role in Nestlé’s growth strategy in Italy and within the international Nestlé group.

“The San Sisto plant plays an increasingly central role in the growth strategy of the Nestlé group, as demonstrated by this new investment in the white chocolate line, which will contribute to making the factory even more competitive within the group on an international level,” Marco Travaglia, the CEO of Nestlé’s business in Italy, stated.

Nestlé, with a presence in Italy for 110 years, operates seven factories in the country, producing various products including bottled water, confectionery, culinary foods, and pet food.

Earlier this month, Nestlé agreed to acquire a majority stake in Grupo CRM, a Brazil-based chocolate business known for its Kopenhagen and Brasil Cacau brands.

This acquisition includes a significant number of chocolate boutiques across Brazil.

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.

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. 

In addition to its chocolate ventures, Nestlé has diversified its product portfolio in Italy, including the sale of frozen pizza through a joint venture with private equity firm PAI Partners, which was established in April.