The Barry Callebaut Group celebrates today the opening of its new office and its new Chocolate Academy center in Beijing with customers (global and local food manufacturers, as well as professional chocolatiers) and distribution partners. This latest investment reemphasizes the company’s continuous efforts in growing its presence in the region as well as an appreciation of the strategic importance of the Chinese market.
China has been a key target market for Barry Callebaut for over a decade. Already back in 2008, Barry Callebaut opened a chocolate factory and a Chocolate Academy center in Suzhou, followed by a relocation of the offices and the Chocolate Academy center 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.
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.
Although the domestic chocolate industry witnessed a boost in sales volume recently, chocolate consumption per capita in China is still at 100 g – with plenty of room to grow. According to analyst firm Nielsen, the chocolate confectionery category in China grew (in terms of volume growth) by 4.5% in the last twelve months.