Chicago-based Blommer Chocolate Company—the largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier in North America—has acquired a manufacturing plant in China’s Jinshan district near Shanghai. The acquisition of the Jinshan facility is part of the company’s $40 million investment in a fully integrated bean processing and chocolate manufacturing facility needed to support growing demand in the Asian region.

“Expanding our operations to China represents a new chapter in the growth of our company,” says Rick Blommer, president of global expansion for Blommer. “We assembled a talented sales and applications support team in our Pudong office near Shanghai over the past year to develop our market presence and, with this acquisition, we are now well positioned to expand our offerings to the growing Chinese market.”

The plant will provide critical ingredient supply chain solutions for Blommer’s existing multinational branded customers and the expanding number of local Chinese companies entering the market.

In the last 18 months, this multi-phase initiative has increased Blommer’s chocolate and compound capacity by more than 70 million pounds in North America. Current projects will add an additional 70 million pounds of capacity over the next 12 months. Blommer also has expanded its presence in West Africa and South America to ensure a reliable and competitive supply of both sustainable and conventional cocoa beans and products.