In an effort to move into the nuts business, Barry Callebaut, has acquired a Spanish nut manufacturer, La Morella Nuts S.A.

La Morella Nuts, known as a leading nut specialist, produces a variety of high-quality, nut-based ingredients for the food industry in Europe.

Barry Callebaut, a leading cocoa manufacturer, says the move will help the company respond to increasing customer demand for combinations of chocolate and nut products.

“With La Morella Nuts we are becoming a leading expert in nut-based products, which is a great adjacent offering to our existing Gourmet and Food Manufacturers Products business in Europe," says Juergen Steinemann, Barry Callebaut’s ceo.

Specifically, Barry Callebaut points to La Morella Nuts’ wealth of knowledge and experience in the nuts business with regards to sourcing, processing and innovation.

Founded in 1986 in Reus, Spain, La Morella Nuts manufactures about 8,000 tons of nut specialties per year and generated about CHF 40 million (€33 million/$42 million) in sales revenue in 2011 with 90 employees.

The company has two state-of-the-art plants in Castellvell del Camp and Reus, where its headquarters are located.

"We feel proud to become a part of Barry Callebaut,” says Joaquim M. Barriach, La Morella Nuts ceo. “Their knowledge, market reach and combination with chocolate will help us to further grow our business. Barry Callebaut makes it possible for us to better position ourselves as a premier manufacturer of quality nuts."

La Morella Nuts will be integrated in Barry Callebaut's business Region Europe as of January 2012.

The acquisition is part of an overall strategy by Barry Callebaut to strengthen its market position in adjacent products, the company says.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

For more information on La Morella Nuts, visit www.morellanuts.com; for more information on Barry Callebaut, visit www.barry-callebaut.com