Chocolate Ambassador Alexandre Bourdeaux presents the Callebaut anniversary packaging.

Callebaut began celebrating the 100th anniversary of its high-quality chocolate today, although its roots go back even further.

Established in 1850 as a malt brewery and dairy company, it wasn’t until 1911 that Callebaut first produced chocolate in neapolitans, bars, tablets and blocks. And it took another 34 years until chocolate became the core part of the company’s business in 1945.

Now, it boasts being one of the rare chocolate makers to select, roast and grind cacao beans into its own secret and exclusive mass.

As part of Callebaut’s centennial celebration, the Belgium-based company is launching a year-long, “100 year 100 faces 100 reasons” campaign.

“Many different people are connected to the Callebaut brand - from cocoa farmers to confectioners, from roasters to chefs - and each for their own reason,” explains Juergen Steinemann, ceo of the company. “That is why ‘100 years 100 faces 100 reasons’ is the centennial’s main theme. We want to put chocolate professionals - our customers - in the spotlight, let them talk about their passion and Callebaut, and reward them for their loyalty, trust and belief in the brand.”

The campaign also will commemorate the success of its iconic chocolates such as 811 (dark), 823 (milk) and W2 (white), and will include a new specially designed anniversary packaging.

The company plans to launch a “Callebaut 100 Years” website that commemorates the history of the Belgian chocolate brand. It will feature personal testimonials from professionals in the confectionery, pastry, bakery and hospitality communities; shapshots of major milestones in the brand’s history; and an interactive guide that shows how the chocolate is made -from the cocoa bean to the finished product.

The celebration will continue through 2011, with promotional activities, competitions and special events world wide. Among them will be a contest in which confectioners, bakers and pastry chefs can enter for a chance to win one of five trips for two to a cocoa farm in Ghana, among other prizes.

is one of the two global brands of Barry Callebaut, and the company’s wide range of chocolates, coatings, fillings, nuts products and decorating products are traditional favorites with chocolate artisans and chefs.

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