The Barry Callebaut Group has signed an agreement to acquire GKC Foods (Australia) Pty Ltd, a producer of chocolate, coatings and fillings, serving many consumer chocolate brands in Australia and New Zealand.
This acquisition empowers the Group to expand its position in the industrial chocolate market and to leverage its gourmet and specialties business in Australia and New Zealand.
Barry Callebaut will continue to work with local distributors across the two countries who have been importing and distributing its industrial and gourmet chocolate and cocoa products to Australia since the 1970s.
Australia and New Zealand have an average chocolate consumption of approximately 5 kg per capita, the highest per-capita chocolate consumption in Asia Pacific, according to Euromonitor.
In Australia, demand for chocolate has been on the rise – the chocolate confectionery market in the country grew well above the global market, states Nielsen.
GKC Foods has been manufacturing ‘Made in Australia’ chocolate and confectionery products since the 1980s.
Today, the company produces products including organic and vegan chocolate for chocolate shops, gourmet delis, specialty food outlets, and key national retailers.
The company operates a chocolate factory and a warehouse in Melbourne.
Barry Callebaut’s investment involves upgrading and expanding the factory’s existing infrastructure; installing a new chocolate production line, and deploying an integrated management system to enhance automated production.
In addition, it will employ about 50 people at the site, including GKC Foods’ existing employees, who will transfer to Barry Callebaut upon completion of the transaction.