KUALA LUMPUR: Guan Chong Bhd (GCB) has commenced operations of its industrial chocolate factory in the United Kingdom (UK), second in Europe, and is targeting the £2.2bil chocolate market in the country.
“To capitalise on the UK’s growing chocolate demand, GCB has invested about £34mil to set up the 16,000-tonne annual capacity industrial chocolate facility,” the world’s fourth largest cocoa grinder and industrial chocolate player said in a statement.
GCB said the facility is installed with state-of-the-art production machinery and is specially designed with production lines to produce dark and milk chocolates with high safety and quality standards.
Managing director and CEO Brandon Tay Hoe Lian said the UK is one of the largest chocolate-consuming countries in Europe, with an average consumption of 8.1 kg per capita.
“By positioning ourselves in the UK, we hope to be a formidable chocolate manufacturer thereby capitalising on the strong demand for chocolate.”
“With the current installation of machinery, the facility still has additional space for us to possibly increase the capacity. For now, we will focus on fine-tuning the facility and evaluate our prospects for future growth,” Tay said.
The facility will produce various types of industrial chocolates such as chips, chunks, buttons, curls, shavings and more.
Future expansion plans for the UK industrial chocolate facility will also include value-added
capabilities in cocoa liquor melting, cocoa butter melting, and cocoa cake grinding.
GCB said the new facility in Suffolk, UK strategically occupies over 17 acres of land and boasts 300,000 sq ft of built-up area, conveniently situated near the port of Felixstowe.
The location enables it to serve chocolate makers and other clients across Europe, providing just-in-time local deliveries of liquid and solid products, as well as professional services such as technical support.