American agribusiness Cargill is partnering with a India-based manufacturer to open its first chocolate manufacturing plant in Asia, the company announced Tuesday. Responding to growing demand in the region’s market, the facility will be located in India and have an initial processing capacity of 10,000 tn of chocolate compounds.
“Asia is a key growth market for Cargill. Opening a chocolate manufacturing operation in India allows us to increase our regional footprint and capabilities in Asia to better support the needs of our local Indian customers, as well as multi-national customers in the region,” Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate Asia-Pacific Managing Director Francesca Kleemans said in a release. “It also demonstrates our commitment to supporting the local economy with the addition of 100 new manufacturing jobs.”
Cargill has had a cocoa presence in Asia since 1995, when it established a team in Makassar, Indonesia to support cocoa trading and supply management. The company opened a cocoa processing plant in Gresik, Indonesia in 2014 to produce premium Gerkens cocoa products.
“Combining local insights from our experience and long-term presence as a food ingredient supplier in India with our global cocoa and chocolate expertise, we aim to become the leading supplier and trusted partner for our bakery, ice cream and confectionery customers in Asia, who will use our chocolate compounds, chips, and paste to create products that will delight local palates,” said Kleemans.
The company also operates regional innovation centers in Singapore, Shanghai, and India that can help customers to develop chocolate products.