Chocolaterie Guylian, makers of the famed Guylian Sea Shell chocolates, will invest €6.8 million ($7.6 million) this year to expand its production capabilities at its facility in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium. The expansion, which should be completed by mid-2017, will allow the company to “anticipate new trends and grow in new segments internationally.”

“Through this investment, we will create 5 to 10 extra jobs here in Sint-Niklaas,” says Mieke Callebaut, Chocolaterie Guylian’s managing director. “The investment of €6.8 million highlights the local ties of the brand, now and in the future.

“Guylian was founded in Sint-Niklaas and all Guylian chocolate, sold worldwide, is made here by our master chocolatiers,” she explains. “Belgian chocolate is synonymous for premium quality and exceptional taste. To us, it was only logical to keep the entire production on Belgian soil.”

Founded in 1960, Guylian today has a team of 250 employees, and produces a wide range of Belgian chocolates in a state-of-the-art facility in Sint-Niklaas. According to the company, it is the market leader in boxed chocolates, exporting to more than 120 countries and is available in 75 percent of travel retail shops globally.

Guylian claims its bestselling Sea Shell chocolates are No. 1 in the world and that it has the best-selling Belgian boxed chocolate brand in Travel Retail.

The company’sin-house roasted hazelnut praliné filling — used for the Guylian Sea Shell chocolates — is still produced according to a traditional recipe developed by the company’s founder, Guy Foubert.  The secret method of roasting and caramelizing hazelnuts gives Guylian chocolates their signature taste.