Barry Callebaut, the world's leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, officially inaugurated its first chocolate factory in Turkey, as announced in October 2012. The new state-of-the-art facility in Eskisehir offers an initial annual production capacity of 14,000 tonnes of chocolate. The total amount invested is CHF 16 million (TL 35 million/EUR 13 million/USD 17 million).
Situated in Turkey's Central Anatolia region, the location in Eskisehir is close to existing and potential new confectionery customers. The facility will serve as a local base to further tap into the fast-growing Turkish chocolate market as well as to capture opportunities in the company's EEMEA region.
Juergen Steinemann, CEO of Barry Callebaut, said: "We are excited about the opening of our first chocolate factory in Turkey, the second one in our EEMEA Region. This new local presence is another important step in continuing our expansion in fast-growing chocolate markets and widens our footprint. Now we are in an even better position to capitalize on the future growth of the attractive Turkish as well as neighboring markets."
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Filip De Reymaeker, Barry Callebaut's president region EEMEA, added: "Turkey ranks among the top five fastest growing chocolate confectionery markets in the world. There is significant growth potential for us here as demand for high-quality chocolate, technical services and new innovations is growing fast. Being centrally located in Eskisehir means we are now closer to the customers we want to serve and to the raw materials we need—all within an ideal radius of 400 km from our factory."
With less than 2 kg per capita, chocolate consumption in Turkey is still rather low. However, in the last five years the total volume of the local chocolate confectionery market has expanded by nearly 50 percent to over 125,000 tonnes. The market is expected to continue to grow strongly at a rate of over 6 percent per annum in the period from 2013 to 2018—much higher than the long-term average growth rate of 1 to 2 percent per year for the global chocolate market.
Barry Callebaut opened its first chocolate factory in the EEMEA region in 2007 in Chekhov, Russia, 60 km south of Moscow. Its annual sales volume in the EEMEA region has increased at a double-digit rate ever since. Regional headquarters were established in Istanbul earlier this year. In November 2013 Barry Callebaut will open a Chocolate Academy(TM) center in Istanbul, a training center for professionals such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs, bakeries, hotels, restaurants and caterers.
The company also opened a sales office in Belgrade, Serbia, last year.