to boost U.S. chocolate output; sees first China sales from U.S.
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[March 28, 2014]
By Marcy Nicholson
NEW YORK (Reuters) — Rising demand for
premium chocolate has spurred Lindt & Spruengli <LISP.S> to boost
production at its U.S. headquarters by 8 to 10 percent, where it
will start making high-quality treats for China for the first time,
Lindt USA chief executive said.
"The U.S. chocolate market is the largest in the world with a
premium chocolate segment that continues to grow rapidly," said
Lindt USA Chief Executive Officer Thomas Linemayr in an email to
"The expanded Lindt USA facility will also produce products for
In April, the company will begin a "multi-million dollar expansion"
at its U.S. headquarters in Stratham, New Hampshire, which will
expand production from processing beans to making chocolate, storage
and distribution over the "next several years," Linemayr said,
declining to state specifics.
As a result of the investment, the facility will begin making
chocolate for China, the world's second-biggest economy, in addition
to supplying its more established markets in North America, Europe
and Australia, Linemayr said.
Lindt & Spruengli is the Swiss-based maker of Lindor chocolate balls
and gold foil-wrapped chocolate bunnies. Earlier this month it said
that growing demand for luxury chocolates in Europe, and
increasingly the Americas and Asia, should help the company increase
sales and profit margins this year.
This strong demand outlook came after the company posted a 23.7
percent rise in 2013 net profit while other chocolate makers saw
sluggish growth that same year.
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Cocoa prices are now around 2-1/2-year highs and a global bean
deficit is expected.
One of the four new products that will be made in the U.S. facility
will be HELLO, chocolate featuring flavors like Cookies & Cream and
Strawberry Cheesecake that target the younger generation.
The company said the expansion will include about 100 new full-time
jobs as well as hundreds of seasonal positions.
(Reporting by Marcy Nicholson; editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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