Brach's Moves Home Office to Dallas, Texas

Brach's Confections, Inc., maker of the nation's topselling jelly-bean and candy-corn brands, this week announced the relocation of its home office from Woodridge, Illinois, to Dallas. In a separate statement, the company said that 2004 marked its 100th anniversary as a leading player in the confectionery industry.

Brach’s President and Chief Executive Officer Terry O’Brien stated that Brach’s chose Dallas because of its convenient travel options, business-friendly climate and proximity to the company’s production network, including parent company Barry Callebaut AG’s recently opened, state-of-the-art plant in Linares, Mexico.

With sales of $340 million last year and a workforce of 1,600, Brach’s is the seventh-largest U.S. candy maker. Last September, it was acquired by Swiss-based Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of cocoa, chocolate and confectionery products. According to O’Brien, the Dallas offices will also provide shared services to Barry Callebaut’s North American operations.

The move to Dallas consolidates the company’s corporate operations, which had been split between Chicago and Chattanooga, Tenn., where Brach’s had purchased another candy company a decade ago. Brach’s new home office, slated to open Monday, January 26, will employ 50 management and administrative staff. Of those, 38 employees are being transferred from the former corporate office in Chicago and 14 will be hired locally. The Chattanooga offices will continue to serve as the Brach’s information, tax, accounting, production-planning and quality backbone.

"We consider the move to be a tremendous advantage for us," said Mr. O’Brien, who spent most of his career in the packaged food industry before joining Brach’s in August 2003. "We can now bring together our entire executive team to one location, which will give us the chance to focus even more intensely on customer service as well as innovation."

About Brach’s (
Brach’s Confections, Inc is one of America’s leading manufacturers of confections with 1,600 employees and sales of approximately US$340 million. Founded in 1904 by Emil J. Brach, Brach’s produces nearly 200 varieties of confections, including hard candies, chocolates and fruit snacks. The company is best known for its StarBrites Mints®, Milk Maid Caramels®, and Maple Nut Goodies®. Brach’s is a wholly owned subsidiary of Swiss-based chocolate and confectionery company Barry Callebaut AG.

About Barry Callebaut:
With annual sales of approximately $2.6 billion for FY2002/03 (ended Aug. 31), Swiss-based Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa, chocolate and confectionery products – from the cocoa bean to the finished product on the store shelf. After the acquisition of Brach’s Confections Holding, Inc. in September 2003, Barry Callebaut operates more than 30 production facilities in 17 countries and employs more than 9,500 people. The company serves the entire food industry, from food manufacturers to professional users of chocolate to retailers. It also provides a comprehensive range of services in the fields of product development, processing, training and marketing.

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