The Barry Callebaut Group has announced its plans to expand its North American presence by building a new specialty chocolate factory in Ontario, Canada.

Expected to be operational in 2024, the factory is planned to have an initial annual production capacity of more than 50,000 tonnes. Total investment volume over a period of 10 years is projected to amount to $104 million (CHF 100 million). The factory will focus on manufacturing sugar-free chocolate, as well as high protein and other specialty products, reflecting market trends.

The Ontario factory marks the group’s biggest capital investment ever in the region and will be in addition to the 15 chocolate and cocoa processing factories Barry Callebaut operates across the Americas region. Two of these 15 factories are located in Canada: one in Chatham, Ontario, and one in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, its largest facility in the Americas. Barry Callebaut says the investment in Ontario fits the group's strategy to continuously nurture its global footprint, locating production close to its customers.

"Consumers are searching for healthier and tasty solutions for the foods they love. ‘Free from’ foods like sugar-free or dairy-free are healthier options that also satisfy the indulgence they are craving," said Steve Woolley, Barry Callebaut president of the Americas. "Through the addition of a sugar-free facility, Barry Callebaut is positioning itself to be the leader in 'better-for-you' offerings for our customers, which include a wide range of low- and sugar-free solutions."