As part of its continued expansion and investment in high-growth chocolate markets, Barry Callebaut, today officially opened its first chocolate factory in Turkey.
The $17-million, state-of-the-art facility in Eskisehir will initially turn 14,000 tons of chocolate annually.
Situated in Turkey's Central Anatolia region, the location in Eskisehir is close to existing and potential new confectionery customers, the company says. The facility will serve as a local base to further tap into the fast-growing Turkish chocolate market as well as to capture opportunities in the company's Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (EEMEA) region for the world's leading manufacturer of cocoa and chocolate products.
"We are excited about the opening of our first chocolate factory in Turkey, the second one in our EEMEA Region,” says Juergen Steinemann, ceo of Barry Callebaut, “This new local presence is another important step in continuing our expansion in fast-growing chocolate markets and widens our footprint. Now we are in an even better position to capitalize on the future growth of the attractive Turkish as well as neighboring markets."
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Filip De Reymaeker, Barry Callebaut's president for the EEMEA region, added, "Turkey ranks among the top five fastest growing chocolate confectionery markets in the world. There is significant growth potential for us here as demand for high-quality chocolate, technical services and new innovations is growing fast. Being centrally located in Eskisehir means we are now closer to the customers we want to serve and to the raw materials we need — all within an ideal radius of 400 km from our factory."
Although chocolate consumption in Turkey is still rather low — less than 2 kg per capita — the total volume of the local chocolate confectionery market during the past five years has expanded by nearly 5 percent to more than 125,000 tons, the company says. The market is expected to continue to grow strongly at a rate of more than 6 percent annually from 2013 to 2018 — much higher than the long-term 1 to 2 percent annual growth rate projected for the global chocolate market, a Euromonitor study says.
Barry Callebaut opened its first chocolate factory in the EEMEA region in 2007 in Chekhov, Russia, 60 km south of Moscow. Its annual sales volume in the EEMEA region has increased at a double-digit rate ever since.
Regional headquarters were established in Istanbul earlier this year. In November 2013, Barry Callebaut will open a Chocolate Academy(TM) center in Istanbul, a training center for professionals such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs, bakeries, hotels, restaurants and caterers. The company also opened a sales office in Belgrade, Serbia, last year.