CARGILL ACQUIRES LEMAN DECORATION GROUP, EXPANDING ITS GOURMET CHOCOLATE OFFERINGS
Cargill has acquired Leman Decoration Group, a leading supplier of cake decorations across the bakery sector, including the artisanal, small industrial and home-baking segments, and foodservice. The acquisition significantly broadens Cargill’s offerings in the decorations space, enabling the company’s cocoa and chocolate business to better serve gourmet customers in Europe and around the world. Customers will benefit from increased intimacy and high speed to market with complementary decoration technology, enhanced production capabilities and a wide-ranging product portfolio.
“By adding Leman Decoration Group to the Cargill family, we’re able to support our gourmet and industrial customers at every step of their journey – from concept to finished product,” said Inge Demeyere, managing director Cargill Chocolate Europe. “Our dedicated Gourmet business will be a true one-stop-shop for all their chocolate needs, , inclusions, decorations, couverture chocolate and now also, an extensive range of special decorations, all backed by a unique platform for sound customer service, including extensive R&D and printing capabilities, and the combined expertise and resources of two world-class organizations.”
Known for its wide and creative product range, Leman Decoration Group’s portfolio spans cake decorations, chocolate printings, sugar-based decorations and wafers. The family-owned business has cultivated customers across 55 countries by combining its strength for product innovation with a vertically integrated, end-to-end supply chain, offering a unique platform for unparalleled customer service. This approach aligns with Cargill’s goal of providing end-to-end, ‘bean-to decorations gourmet solutions.
“Cargill’s deep chocolate production expertise and established global cocoa and chocolate supply compliments our long-standing commitment to our gourmet customers,” said Didier Leman, owner of Leman Decoration Group, “By joining with Cargill, we can build on our nearly six-decade legacy in the decoration space and leverage the collective strengths of our complementary operations to better serve the full-spectrum of our clients’ need today and for years to come.”
As part of the transaction, all Leman Decoration Group facilities, including its three state-of-the-art manufacturing sites in Belgium, Mauritius and Thailand, and its nearly 450 employees will join the Cargill family, reporting into its dedicated Global Gourmet and Distribution organization.
Synergies between the two organizations extend to their Mouscron, Belgium-based innovation centers. Cargill’s House of Chocolate complex, with its state-of-the-art chocolate experience facility, pilot plant and sensory lab, is slated to open in early 2022, while Leman Decoration Group’s industry-leading R&D hub is located just 1.5 kilometers away. Together, these centers will provide an unrivaled platform for customer demonstrations, partnerships and innovations.
Cargill’s move to acquire Leman Decoration Group is the latest in a series of steps to extend its presence and product line in the gourmet space. In 2019, Cargill acquired Smet, a leading Belgium-based supplier of chocolate and sweets decorations while in January 2021, the company expanded its Kalmthout, Belgium, gourmet production facility. In March of this year, Cargill also added signature origins to its Veliche™ line of couverture chocolates.
Other notable investments by Cargill in the gourmet segment include acquisitions of Archer Daniels Midland Co.’s global chocolate business in 2015. Today, Cargill is the second largest chocolate company in the world and serves the gourmet market with its Veliche Gourmet™, Smet, Vanova® and now Leman Decorations brands.
Cargill’s 155,000 employees across 70 countries work relentlessly to achieve our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Every day, we connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients, and people and animals with the food they need to thrive.
We combine 155 years of experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner for food, agriculture, financial and industrial customers in more than 125 countries. Side-by-side, we are building a stronger, sustainable future for agriculture. For more information, visit Cargill.com and our News Center.
About Cargill’s global cocoa and chocolate business
Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate provides high quality cocoa and chocolate more sustainably throughout the world and brings our customers peace of mind, integrity and excitement. With balanced efforts on security of supply, sustainability projects and sensory expertise, we create a wide range of outstanding standardized and custom-made products and services. In addition, we provide our customers with extensive market knowledge. We grow a robust, fair and transparent supply chain, from bean to bar, eager to continuously shape industry standards. To ensure a more sustainable supply of quality cocoa beans, Cargill established our own sourcing and trading operations at origin in Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Indonesia. Our Cargill Cocoa Promise underlines our commitment to enable farmers and their communities achieve better incomes and living standards. Our team of 3,800 passionate cocoa and chocolate experts work across 54 locations and are part of Cargill’s 155,000 colleagues around the world. For more information, visit cargillcocoachocolate.com.
About Veliche™ gourmet
Veliche is dedicated to chefpreneurs, who are driven to achieve business success by using their passion for bakery, patisserie and chocolatery to delight their customers. Veliche empowers Chefs to delight by sharing business know-how and inspiration, and by nurturing creativity through quality with easy-to-work and high-quality Belgian chocolates. Veliche also supports entrepreneurship in cocoa origin countries by empowering farmers to become “agripreneurs” and manage their farms as businesses with the aim to maximize profitability and increase prosperity. To find out more visit: http://www.veliche.com/. Veliche is a brand powered by Cargill.
About Leman Decoration Group
Leman Decoration Group, with its head office in Mouscron, Belgium, is a producer of inspiring cake decorations in chocolate, sugar and marzipan. Our mission is to make cakes more beautiful. Beautiful cakes taste better and sell faster, creating extra value for our customers. We have three production plants: Belgium for printed chocolate, Thailand for sugar and artisanal chocolate, and Mauritius for wafer flowers and printed wafers.
The company was established in 1963 by Georges Leman and initially focused on producing marzipan roses. Today, Leman Decoration Group is a one-stop-shop for a wide range of edible and non-edible decorations. Our products are sold in 55 countries and 450 employees are members of the Group. Our expertise results in a yearly renewed range of products to inspire pastry chefs, bakers, ice-cream producers and chocolatiers. For more information visit: www.lemandecorationgroup.com.