LONDON, UK – Olam Cocoa announces the opening of a Cocoa Innovation Centre (CIC) in Willowbrook, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. The new facility will provide important innovation capabilities to support Olam Cocoa’s North American customers.
The opening of this latest CIC, one of six globally, along with Centres in Brazil, Netherlands, Spain, Singapore and UK, will assist customers in the refinement and reformulation of existing recipes, provide proof of concept opportunities, and aid in the development of new products across such diverse application categories as beverages, cereals, chocolate confectionery, dairy, biscuits and bakery, and ice cream.
Rinus Heemskerk, Global Head of Product Development and Innovation noted that:
“The facility will also host regular educational and application-specific seminars as part of a range of services designed to greatly reduce product development cycle timelines and help customers keep pace with changing consumer tastes and market trends.”
Olam Cocoa is also unveiling the new branding look of its portfolio of cocoa product brands, deZaan, Unicao, Macao, and Joanes, as well as announcing the launch of a completely new cocoa product brand for the North American and Asia Pacific markets, Huysman.
As a region-specific brand born out of the heritage of deZaan, starting in Q3 2017, Huysman will offer a focused selection of value driven, best-in-class cocoa powders to these markets.
Matthias Richter, Vice President of Cocoa for North America, commented:
“The North American market continues to see growing demand for products containing cocoa as exemplified by the recent projection that the US chocolate market’s retail value sales will grow by 9.9% from 2016 to 2021.* As experienced by our customers at today’s opening, this Cocoa Innovation Centre is a valuable resource that will help them to maximise opportunities related to these demand increases.”
Gerard A Manley, CEO of Olam Cocoa, added:
“By investing in facilities like Willowbrook we support our customers to satisfy consumer needs, and by being transparent on issues such as sustainability and product provenance, we are also ensuring that the future of our cocoa growers is protected, and that we are working to provide a continued, healthy market for their cocoa.”