Swiss chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut has opened a new Chocolate Academy in Beijing to meet demand and better serve the Chinese market.
The new Chocolate Academy centre – the company’s 22nd globally – will provide assistance to local food manufacturers and professional chocolatiers with onsite training and application support.
“Domestic chocolate production is increasing, and we have experienced double-digit growth in China over the last four years,” said Ben De Schryver, President of Barry Callebaut’s Asia Pacific.
“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.”
The opening of the new Beijing site follows from the establishment of a Chocolate Academy in Suzhou in 2008 which was relocated to Shanghai two years later.
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: “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 flavours.
“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.”