Barry Callebaut opens Beijing Chocolate Academy

12 Mar 2019

Barry Callebaut has opened a new office and a new Chocolate Academy centre in Beijing with customers (global and local food manufacturers, as well as professional chocolatiers) and distribution partners.

Barry Callebaut opens Beijing Chocolate Academy

Barry Callebaut has opened a new office and a new Chocolate Academy centre in Beijing with customers (global and local food manufacturers, as well as professional chocolatiers) and distribution partners.

The new office and the new Chocolate Academy centre is designed to provide better assistance to Barry Callebaut’s local customers with onsite training and application support. This latest investment, the company says, reemphasizes its continuous efforts in growing its presence in the region as well as an appreciation of the strategic importance of the Chinese market.

Ben De Schryver, President Barry Callebaut Asia Pacific, said: “As a global leader in the chocolate industry, serving food manufacturers and professional users of chocolate, we are excited about the great growth potential of China. Domestic chocolate production is increasing, and we have experienced double-digit growth in China over the last four years. Our confidence in the future development of the chocolate market in China, together with the desire to better serve our Chinese customers, have prompted the expansion of our footprint and distribution network across China over the next few years.”

According to the company, China has been a key target market for Barry Callebaut for over a decade. In 2008, Barry Callebaut opened a chocolate factory and a Chocolate Academy centre in Suzhou, followed by a relocation of the offices and the Chocolate Academy centre to Shanghai in 2010. The offices in Shanghai, which will continue to be the company’s head office in China, are currently being expanded. Barry Callebaut also chose Shanghai for the global launch of Ruby, the fourth type of chocolate, in 2017.

George Zhang, Managing Director Barry Callebaut China said: “Barry Callebaut is well recognized by food manufacturers and the artisanal community in China for our innovative, high-quality products and superior customer service. Over the years, we have built our presence in China through outsourcing agreements with a number of Chinese food manufacturers, and we have established a strong network of nationwide distribution and committed channel partners. Today’s opening of our new Beijing office and Chocolate Academy centremarks a new milestone in our successful growth in this country. China’s second-tier multi-million cities where consumption is expected to increase exponentially in the coming years, are also key growth areas for us. We will continue to extend our reach in these cities through an extended distribution strategy”

With the addition of the new Beijing office, Barry Callebaut China has increased its sales representatives in the Greater China region spanning Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Suzhou, and Taipei and extended its distribution network across 21 key- and second-tier multi-million cities in China including Chongqing, Dalian, Kunming, Nanjing, Ningbo, Tianjin, Xiamen, and Wuhan.

Continued Zhang: “The China chocolate market is showing promising growth in 2019. Increasingly, local food manufacturers are introducing innovative products to refresh consumers’ perception such as products with new flavors. The rising incomes in China consumers boosted demand for higher quality and premium chocolate products such as ruby chocolate – which are gradually being introduced in the country. China has the largest e-commerce market in the world, and sales of our premium chocolate products on our online platform have tripled in the last 2 years.”