Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngli has announced a CHF 30 million investment in the Lindt Cocoa Centre in Olten.
The company plans to expand and modernise the production facility, which manufactures cocoa mass for Lindt’s European plants within the global production network.
The Olten site is the largest plant in the confectionery company's entire production network for refining cocoa beans to cocoa mass.
It said that the investment aims to strengthen Switzerland as a business location, where the company can trace its roots back as far as 175 years.
Lindt & Sprüngli will set up an additional line for roasting cocoa beans and a new loading bay, as well as installing a modern research facility for tests on beans, recipes and processes. Other areas will also be brought up to speed with the latest technology, according to the chocolatier.
The beans are sourced mainly from West Africa and Latin America for the company’s fine flavour cocoa varieties, and are shipped to the Netherlands and then transported to Olten via rail.
Lindt says that Olten is ideally positioned as one of the central nodes of the Swiss railway network, while keeping it less than an hour away from the company’s headquarters in Kilchberg, near Zurich.
The cocoa beans are delivered by more than 400 train wagons and stored in the plant’s silos for further processing.
The cocoa mass is then distributed to the production companies in Switzerland, Germany, Italy and France. In all factories, local processing and refinement of the chocolate must meet rigorous Swiss standards, according to the company.
The newly-increased capacities in Olten will support future growth of the entire Lindt & Sprüngli group by spring 2019, the company added.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Kevin Duggan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.