Swiss chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut has opened a Chocolate Academy centre and an office in Beijing, China.

With the new facilities, the Swiss firm intends to meet the growing demand for its products and offer improved assistance to its local customers with onsite training and application support.

Furthermore, the expansion will enable the company to strengthen its distribution network in second-tier cities across China.

The Chocolate Academy centre represents the company’s second facility in China and the 22nd across the world.

It will serve as a training centre for artisans and professionals who want to enhance their skills in chocolate and learn new trends, techniques and recipes.

“Domestic chocolate production is increasing, and we have experienced double-digit growth in China over the last four years.”

Barry Callebaut China managing director George Zhang said: “Today’s opening of our new Beijing office and Chocolate Academy centre marks a new milestone in our successful growth in this country. China’s second-tier multi-million cities, where consumption is expected to increase exponentially in the coming years, are also key growth areas for us.”

In 2008, Barry Callebaut opened its first Chocolate Academy centre and a factory in Suzhou, before later relocating them to Shanghai in 2010.

Barry Callebaut Asia Pacific president Ben De Schryver said: “As a global leader in the chocolate industry, serving food manufacturers and professional users of chocolate, we are excited about the great growth potential of China.

“Domestic chocolate production is increasing, and we have experienced double-digit growth in China over the last four years.

“Our confidence in the future development of the chocolate market in China, together with the desire to better serve our Chinese customers, have prompted the expansion of our footprint and distribution network across China over the next few years.”

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