Swiss Chocolatier Lindt continues its chocolate expansion in the US

When chocoholics are debating who produces the best chocolate in the world, Switzerland and Belgium seem to be the two countries synonymously linked with fabulous chocolate. On Monday Lindt announced it had made an offer of just under USD 1.5bn to acquire Russell Stover Candies, the US-based manufacturer of “fine box candies”.  

If the deal gets regulatory clearance, then this would be Lindt’s second and largest acquisition of a US-based chocolate company, after its 1998 acquisition of San Francisco’s Ghirardelli. Ernst Tanner, Chairman and CEO of Lindt, states the rationale behind the deal as being: “a unique opportunity for us to expand our North American chocolate business”.

But perhaps the company should also consider looking to Asia, where growing consumption of chocolate is contributing towards the increasing shortage and cost of cocoa beans, chocolate’s primary ingredient. Asia’s chocolate habit is forecast to grow at twice the global rate over the next few years, and satisfying this craving could potentially be big business to the chocolate companies.