Chocolate and cocoa product manufacturer Barry Callebaut has opened a new chocolate factory in Mexico, strengthening its position in the North American chocolate market.

The factory, based in Monterrey, will enable an annual production of around 100,000 tonnes and will act as a gateway between the company’s Central and South American markets. It will be Callebaut’s third largest production facility worldwide and cost approximately USD40 million.The firm said the new factory is “paramount” to its global expansion plans and “underlines the company’s commitment to the Americas”. The factory has been designed to manufacture industrial chocolate - liquid and moulded - in addition to compound. Full capacity is expected to be reached within five years.

“Our new chocolate factory in Monterrey, Mexico, will enable Barry Callebaut to move closer to its growing customer base of multinational and local food manufacturers in this region,” commented chief executive officer, Patrick De Maeseneire.

“Chocolate confectionery in Mexico is expected to grow on average by 6.5% per year in value terms over the next five years. These growth projections make the Mexican market a very attractive investment for Barry Callebaut.”

The Zurich-based company operates eight chocolate and cocoa factories in the Americas and is present in 26 countries.