The Barry Callebaut Group plans to expand its North American presence by building a new specialty chocolate factory in Ontario, Canada. The new state-of-the-art factory is planned to have an initial annual production capacity of over 50,000 tonnes. Total investment volume over a period of 10 years is projected to amount to $104 million, and the factory is expected to be operational by 2024.

It will focus on manufacturing sugar-free chocolate, as well as high protein and other specialty products, reflecting the market trends. According to IRI, the US market for specialty chocolate grew by 5.9% in 2021 to $14.7 billion. Barry Callebaut expects to create more than 200 new jobs to staff its new state-of-the-art facility.

“Consumers are searching for healthier and tasty solutions for the foods they love. Free from foods like sugar-free or dairy-free are healthier options that also satisfy the indulgence they are craving,” says Steve Woolley, president of the Region Americas of Barry Callebaut. “Through the addition of a sugar-free facility, Barry Callebaut is positioning itself to be the leader in ‘better for you’ offerings for our customers, which include a wide range of low- and sugar-free solutions.”

The new factory in Ontario marks the Group’s biggest capital investment ever in the region. It will be in addition to the 15 chocolate and cocoa processing factories Barry Callebaut currently has across the Americas Region. Two of these 15 factories are located in Canada: one in Chatham, Ontario, and one in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, its largest facility in Region Americas.

“Barry Callebaut’s new and continued commitment to Canada is an investment in the talent of Canadian workers, our access to global markets, and our welcoming business environment. Global investors will look at all corners of Canada for opportunities. Foreign direct investment brings jobs, stability and promise,” says Katie Curran, interim chief executive officer, Invest in Canada