Cargill, Minneapolis, said it invested 3.5 million euros in its site in Kalmthout, Belgium, to increase its capabilities for producing gourmet chocolate. The investment adds a fifth gourmet production line and new chocolate tanks within the existing facility, providing greater flexibility in production as well as adding 12 new jobs locally.

“This investment strengthens the extended gourmet chocolate offerings that we acquired with Cargill’s purchase of Smet in 2019,” said Inge Demeyere, managing director of Cargill’s chocolate activities in Europe. “With the complementary offering of Veliche gourmet couvertures and Smet decorations, we are able to provide additional choice and meet increased demand in the gourmet segment, including our industrial customers.”

Cargill said the investment provides access to enhanced innovation capabilities and an extended customer network. The new chocolate tanks also will allow for improved dedicated storage and dedicated piping to provide full flexibility to customer requirements.

“With Smet, a leading Belgium-based supplier of chocolate and sweets decoration, we have worked hard to uphold our customers’ trust, ensuring deep customer intimacy and high speed-to-market with new decoration technology, enhanced production capabilities and a wide-ranging product portfolio,” Demeyere said.

The expansion is set to be complete by the end of 2020, Cargill said.