Cargill’s new complex will consist of an advanced chocolate experience centre, pilot plant, sensory lab and creative workspace
Cargill is set to invest $21m to build a new House of Chocolate complex at its Belgium site to support better product development and enhance customer innovation.
The new complex, which is for all-in-one product development and training, is being built beside the company’s existing chocolate production plant in Mouscron.
Cargill’s new complex will feature an advanced chocolate experience centre, pilot plant, sensory lab and creative workspace for the firm’s European R&D team of chocolate engineers.
The new 700m² complex will offer customers with an all-in-one development process
The new 700m² complex will provide customers with an all-in-one development process ranging from inspiration, innovation and training to pilot lab testing, sensory testing and commercial-scale production.
The new complex will offer three critical functions to the customers, including inspiration from Cargill’s gourmet chocolate chefs at chocolate experience centre, brainstorm new product concepts and enhance their chocolate knowledge via in-depth training sessions.
The on-site pilot plant facilitates product developers to test their concepts via small-scale production runs, which reflect the manufacturing conditions of industrial lines. Its in-house sensory lab allows evaluating taste, visual appearance and texture to meet expectations of consumers.
Cargill’s new complex will employ over 40 chocolate engineers, including sensory experts, technical service specialists and R&D scientists. It serves as the hub for all of Cargill’s chocolate, coating and filling activities.
The pilot centre is expected to be opened in fall 2021, while the chocolate experience centre and sensory lab are expected to be operational in January 2022.
Cargill cocoa and chocolate president Harold Poelma said: “Innovation stands at the forefront of our House of Chocolate, as we bring together all our expertise and resources.
“It will allow us to collaborate with customers at every step of their product development journey, transforming ideas into reality using a streamlined approach to facilitate innovation and deliver greater efficiency and speed to market.”
In December this year, Cargill announced that it is investing more than $113m to expand its cocoa processing sites in Ivory Coast and Ghana.