Cargill expands its gourmet chocolate offering with the acquisition of Leman Décoration


May 06, 2021 — Cargill has acquired Leman Decoration Group, a supplier of cake decorations to the baking industry, including the craft, light industry, home bakery and restaurant segments.

Currently, Cargill is the second largest chocolate company in the world and serves the gourmet market with its brands Veliche Gourmet, Smet, Vanova and now Leman Decorations.

The acquisition significantly expands Cargill’s decorating offering, enabling the company’s cocoa and chocolate businesses to better serve gourmet customers in Europe and globally.

Customers will benefit “from increased privacy and a quick time to market with complementary decorating technology, improved production capabilities and a broad product portfolio,” says Cargill.

Expansion of the gastronomic scope
“By adding Leman Decoration Group to the Cargill family, we are able to support our gourmet and industrial customers every step of the way, from concept to finished product,” says Inge Demeyere, Managing Director of Cargill Chocolate Europe.

Cargill’s decision to acquire Leman Decoration is the latest in a series of steps to expand its presence and product line in the gastronomic space.“Our gourmet business will be a true one-stop-shop for all their chocolate needs, inclusions, decorations, couverture chocolate and now also, a wide range of special decorations.”

Demeyere says the acquisition is also supported by a single platform for quality customer service, comprising extensive R&D and printing capabilities, as well as the combined expertise and resources of two world-class organizations.

The Leman Decoration Group portfolio includes cake decorations, chocolate prints, sugar decorations and wafers.

The family-owned business has customers in 55 countries, combining its product innovation strength with a vertically integrated end-to-end supply chain, providing a customer service platform.

This approach aligns with Cargill’s goal of providing end-to-end gastronomic solutions and “bead decorations,” the company notes.

“Cargill’s deep chocolate production expertise and established global supply of cocoa and chocolate complements our long-standing commitment to our gourmet customers,” said Didier Leman, owner of Leman Decoration Group.

“By partnering with Cargill, we can build on our nearly six-decade decorating heritage and leverage the collective strengths of our complementary operations to better meet the overall needs of our customers today. and for years to come.

Partnership leads to innovation
As part of the transaction, all of Leman Decoration Group’s facilities, including its three state-of-the-art manufacturing sites in Belgium, Mauritius and Thailand, and its nearly 450 employees will join Cargill in its Global Gourmet organization. and Distribution.

The synergies between the two organizations extend to their innovation centers based in Mouscron, Belgium. Cargill’s House of Chocolate complex, with its chocolate experiment facility, pilot plant and sensory lab, is slated to open in early 2022, while Leman Decoration Group’s R&D center is located just 1, 5 km.

Together, these centers will provide an unrivaled platform for customer demonstrations, partnerships and innovations.

Acquisition track
Cargill’s decision to acquire Leman Decoration is the latest in a series of steps to expand its presence and product line in the gastronomic space.

In 2019, Cargill acquired Smet, one of Belgium’s leading suppliers of chocolate and candy decorations, while in January 2021 the company expanded its gourmet production facility in Kalmthout, Belgium.

In March, Cargill added signature origins to its line of Veliche couverture chocolates.

Other notable investments by Cargill in the gourmet segment include the acquisitions of ADM’s global chocolate business in 2015.

Edited by Elizabeth Green

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