Cargill builds $21million House of Chocolate complex
In a move to improve product development and enhance the customer collaboration experience, Cargill has unveiled its plans for a “House of Chocolate” complex at its Mouscron, Belgium site.
The complex will be built alongside the company’s existing chocolate production plant and will include a state-of-the-art chocolate experience centre, a unique pilot plant, a sensory lab and creative workspace for the company’s European R&D team of chocolate engineers.
The aim of the new 700-square-metre complex is to enable customers to experience the convenience of “an all-in-one development process” – from inspiration, innovation and training, through to pilot lab testing, sensory testing and culminating in commercial-scale-production at a single location.
Staffed by a team of more than 40 chocolate engineers, including sensory experts, technical service specialists and R&D scientists, the new facility will serve as the hub for all of Cargill’s chocolate, coating and filling activities.
Harold Poelma, President of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, 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”.
Construction has already started, and the pilot centre is scheduled to open in Autumn 2021. The chocolate experience centre and sensory lab will be operational in January 2022.
The investment follows a string of upgrades to the company’s adjacent Mouscron chocolate production facility, including new sugar-reduction capabilities added in 2019 and a liquid chocolate production line, which was completed in 2018.