Swiss chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut and snack giant Mondelez International have announced plans for investment and expansion.

Barry Callebaut will acquire Mondelez' chocolate production facility in the Halle, Belgium, to expand its production capabilities. The two companies will enter into a long-term agreement for the supply of an additional 30,000 tonnes of liquid chocolate per year. Under a toll-manufacturing agreement, Barry Callebaut will make certain consumer products for Mondelez that are currently produced at the plant in Halle.

The acquisition, expected to close by the end of the year, will leave Barry Callebaut better equipped to capture business opportunities in the rapidly expanding segment of specialty chocolate and fillings "Made in Belgium."

"This is an excellent opportunity for Barry Callebaut to strengthen our global strategic supply partnership with Mondelez International,” says Antoine de Saint-Affrique, ceo, Barry Callebaut. “As a result, we would also be able to expand our manufacturing capacity for quality Belgian chocolate needed to support the continuous growth of our business with both food manufacturers and gourmet and specialties customers. This all demonstrates our continued commitment to Belgium and reflects the excellent reputation that Belgian chocolate enjoys globally.”

On its part, Mondelez has also confirmed a $65 million investment to build a global Research, Development & Quality (RDQ) network..

The RDQ network will help the company to better recruit, retain and develop talent across a range of science and technical disciplines. It will also create a stronger presence for Mondelez in both emerging and developed markets.

The redesigned network will consist of new and existing technical centers that will be flexible in responding to the company's growth and innovation needs.

Over the next two years, the company will focus the RDQ network on nine technical centers:

  • Mexico City, Mexico

  • East Hanover, N.J., United States

  • Bournville, United Kingdom

  • Reading, United Kingdom

  • Wroclaw, Poland

  • Thane, India

  • Suzhou, China

  • Jurong, Singapore

  • Curitiba, Brazil

"With these advantaged technical centers, we're focusing our investment in research, equipment and capabilities to drive innovation to support our growth strategy and innovation, margin and quality platforms," says Rob Hargrove, e.v.p., RDQ. "These hubs will enable improved efficiency, effectiveness and accelerated project delivery, while the increased scale across key markets will provide rapid access to changing consumer needs and trends."

Centers in East Hanover, Bournville, and Reading are in full operation. Mondelez will break ground on the Singapore facility in November and the Thane facility in December.