GELANG PATAH: GUAN CHONG BHD’s (GCB) latest investment in industrial chocolate facility will further strengthen its position as one of the top 10 leading producers of cocoa ingredients in the world, said managing director and chief executive officer Brandon Tay Hoe Lian.
He said the RM55mil investment would cater for the growing international demand for industrial chocolates.
Industrial chocolates are essentially ready-for-application chocolates and are typically purchased by chocolate and confectionery manufacturers.
“The new facility will strategically position us as a complete cocoa ingredients supplier for our global clients,’’ he said at a briefing after the opening of GCB Specialty Chocolates Sdn Bhd plant at the Tanjung Pelepas Port industrial zone by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
Tay said the industrial chocolate segment represented a new and potentially substantial revenue stream for the company and it aimed to grow it alongside its existing product range.
He said the facility, with an annual production capacity of 10,000 tonnes under the first phase, could produce up to 50,000 tonnes annually in the future.
“Prospects for the chocolate making industry are good and there is a growing appetite for chocolate, with global sales expected to reach US$85bil for the next two years,’’ said Tay.
He said emerging markets presented the highest growth potential, with chocolate demand in China alone expected to grow 11% per year till 2018, in view of increased affluence and more sophisticated consumer tastes.
“Chocolate consumption in Brazil is projected to grow 13% and India 22% in the same timeframe and by 2020, Asia will become the world’s largest chocolate-consuming region,’’ added Tay.
Formed in 1990, GCB has production facilities in Pasir Gudang, Johor, and Batam, Indonesia, as well as a cocoa cake-grinding facility in Delaware, the United States.
It has an annual grinding capacity of 200,000 tonnes – 80,000 tonnes in the Pasir Gudang plant and 120,000 tonnes in Batam.
The company’s cocoa ingredients are marked under the Favorich brand. It exports cocoa ingredients to about 60 countries and its clients include some of the world’s famous chocolate makers and leading cocoa ingredients traders.
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