Swiss giant Barry Callebaut, the choco-saurus of the chocolate world, has swallowed up Spanish fine chocolate maker Chocovic for an undisclosed sum. Pending European competition rulings, the deal should be complete by the end of the year.
We’ve all eaten Callebaut chocolate at some time or other, usually unknowingly in one of the many private label bars or products currently on sale around the world by an endless list of chocolate companies, brands and chocolatiers. Now that reach will be extended a little further, with a significant hit to competition in the bulk high end couverture business.
Questions are left as to what extent the Chocovic brand will maintain it’s own distinct style, and how this will affect the many smaller Spanish businesses that Chocovic supply, such as Cacao Sampaka – a chocolatier chain born with the support of Chocovic, and others such as Enric Rovira. Will they now just be Callebaut customers, or will they still be buying a distinct couverture?
Perhaps in time, Chocovic will be positioned within the Callebaut range in a similar way to the ‘Barry’ name, now used for a few of the companies better country origin chocolates. The other big question on everyone’s lips is … who next?