Swiss cocoa and chocolate producer Barry Callebaut Group has announced plans to expand its California production facility following a string of investments in Asia.

The company will put $20 million into its American Canyon facility as a response to greater demand for cocoa and chocolate on the West Coast. The first phase of the expansion, completed in March, increased liquid production capacity by 20 percent, along with an increase to tank capacity and an improved moulding infrastructure to better meet customers' needs. The second phase, which is set to wrap in mid-2017, will also increase plant capacity for liquid chocolate and compound production.

“Ensuring our facilities match regional demand is crucial to meet customer demand,” says Dave Johnson, ceo and president Americas. “Population growth on the West Coast is driving an increased chocolate demand. We are committed to providing our customers with products of the highest quality and consistency in advantageous proximity.”

Barry Callebaut’s $20-million investment, which is part of the group’s annual $200-million capital expenditure, is expected to bring additional jobs to the 11-year-old American Canyon facility. It serves a variety of food manufacturers and confectionery companies with operations based in western regions of the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Last month, Barry Callebaut announced an $18-million investment in its Singapore production facility, which includes installation of a third production line, a moulding line for chocolate chips and drops and a 28,000-sq.-ft. warehouse. The company has also built its first chocolate factory in Indonesia. That three-story, 43,000-sq.-ft. production facility employs 50 people and joins two chocolate grinding facilities in Indonesia.