The Barry Callebaut Group has signed an agreement to acquire Europe Chocolate Company (ECC), a Belgian, privately-owned B2B manufacturer of chocolate specialties and decorations.

This acquisition expands Barry Callebaut’s value-adding specialties capabilities, allowing the company to cater to the increasing demand from food manufacturers for customized specialty chocolate and decorations. The integration of ECC expands Barry Callebaut’s specialized chocolate molding capabilities and allows the company to offer tailor-made solutions thanks to ECC’s advanced inhouse developed technology.

“We have a long-standing relationship with ECC and strongly believe in the growth opportunities of highly customized industrial specialty chocolate ingredients,” said Wim Debedts, v.p. food manufacturers, Western Europe, Barry Callebaut. “The acquisition will help us to further broaden our market position thanks to ECC’s unique know-how and its highly flexible manufacturing facility in Belgium.”

ECC has been manufacturing specialty chocolate ingredients since 1993. ECC produces a range of industrial chocolate and decorations in multiple taste and color variations, including batons, curls, chunks, leaves, and shavings. Its flexible production setup allows it to supply customers in the biscuit, bakery, dairy, ice-cream, confectionery, and food service industries. 

The company operates a chocolate factory and a warehouse in Malle, close to Antwerp, Belgium.

“I am very proud of the specialty chocolate business we have built from scratch over the past close to 30 years,” said Eric Van Tichelen, managing director of ECC. “Joining the Barry Callebaut family will enable and accelerate ECC’s growth with access to new customers and new geographies via a broad sales network, helping to accentuate our unique proposition.”

The acquisition is expected to close in the coming months. Both companies will not disclose any financial details of the transaction.