Guan Chong the world’s fourth largest cocoa grinder and industrial chocolate player has commenced operations of its industrial chocolate factory in the United Kingdom (UK), second in Europe.
The group said it aims to capitalise on the UK’s growing chocolate demand and has invested about £34 million to set up the 16,000 MT annual capacity industrial chocolate facility. 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.
According to the Food & Drink Federation of the UK, the country imported about £2.2 billion worth of chocolate products, mostly from the European Union, in 2022. The imports represent a 28.1% increase compared to £1.7 billion in 2021. Notably, chocolate represents among the top 5 imported food and drink products, demonstrating the country’s strong demand for chocolate.
Managing Director and CEO of Guan Chong Berhad, Mr. Brandon Tay Hoe Lian, “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.”
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.
Sitting on more than 17 acres of land and 300,000 square feet of built-up area, the new facility in Suffolk, UK is strategically located close to 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.
The Group’s German subsidiary, SCHOKINAG, has an annual industrial chocolate production capacity of 100,000 MT per annum, bringing the total production capacity to 116,000 MT per annum for the Group.