The Barry Callebaut Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, has signed an agreement to acquire GKC Foods (Australia) Pty Ltd, a producer of chocolate, coatings and fillings, serving many consumer chocolate brands in Australia and New Zealand.
This strategic acquisition establishes Barry Callebaut’s direct presence and manufacturing capacity in the growing Australian market. The acquisition of GKC Foods empowers the Group to expand its position in the industrial chocolate market and to leverage its value-adding Gourmet & Specialties business in Australia and New Zealand. Barry Callebaut will continue to work with local distributors across Australia and New Zealand who have been importing and distributing its industrial and Gourmet chocolate and cocoa products to the country since the 1970s.
Australia and New Zealand have an average chocolate consumption of approximately 5 kilograms per capita, the highest per-capita chocolate consumption in Asia Pacific, according to Euromonitor1. In Australia, demand for chocolate has been on the rise – the chocolate confectionery market in the country grew well above the global market according to Nielsen2.
GKC Foods has been manufacturing “Made in Australia” chocolate and confectionery products since the 1980s. Today, the company produces a wide range of products including organic and vegan chocolate for dedicated chocolate shops, gourmet delis, specialty food outlets, and key national retailers. The company operates a chocolate factory and a warehouse in Melbourne.
Barry Callebaut’s investment involves upgrading and expanding the factory’s existing infrastructure, installing a new state-of-the-art chocolate production line, and the deployment of an integrated management system to enhance automated production. In addition, the company will employ around 50 people at the site, including GKC Foods' existing employees, who will transfer to Barry Callebaut upon completion of the transaction.