Mondelēz earmarks €30m to ramp up production of some of Belgian’s best loved biscuits
The new installations at its Herentals baking plant are expected to be operational early next year, and will transform it into a more modern, flexible and competitive factory.
The move is in line with Mondelēz International’s ambitious growth strategy in the European biscuit market, which brings in over 30% of the company’s annual revenues. In 2022, Mondelez reported net revenues of $31bn, with Europe generating $11.4bn.
The company has been active in the Benelux region since 1870 and today is the market leader in biscuits, chocolate and cream cheese in Belgium. It has two production facilities in the country – the Herentals baking site and another in Namur for processed cheese – in addition to commercial headquarters in Mechelen, employing over 2,000 Belgium nationals.
The investment will be used not only an upgrade and expansion of the current production capacity of the Herentals plant – currently producing 70,000 tonnes of cookies each year – but also to focus on increasing process expertise, safety and quality.
“This significant investment will continue the modernising of the production installations in our Herentals facility and create a highly efficient and robust supply infrastructure for our iconic biscuits such as Prince, Tuc and PiM’s,” said Bart De Geest, plant director for Mondelēz Herentals.
“In combination with the development of our people expertise, this operation will enable the plant to develop its competitiveness and prepares the ground for future growth of the plant.”
Core production lines
The capital has been earmarked for the installation of a new production line for TUC crackers, in addition to the two existing lines. The new line will create an additional +6,500 tonnes capacity for TUC, supporting up to +40% future growth.
An entirely new production hall will sport the latest tech to produce the chocolate cream filling for the popular Prince biscuit.
The PiM’s brand is also set to receive an upgrade with a new cake baking unit and chocolate process.
The LU PiM's brand was launched by French company LU (Lefèvre-Utile) in 1849 but became part of Mondelez’s portfolio since 2012, after the split of its previous owner Kraft Foods (which, in turn, had acquired it as part of its acquisition from Groupe Danone in 2007).
The PiM’s oven will be one of the first within the company’s network in Europe to make the transition from gas to electrical energy, supporting its commitment to reduce carbon emissions.
New packaging equipment will be installed and the plant will also implement new IT systems for the management of the warehouse and production system to further secure and improve production efficiency.
De Geest added, “With our combined expertise in biscuits and chocolate manufacturing, Herentals is one of the largest production facilities of Mondelēz International in Europe.
“Thanks to this commitment, we will be able to respond to the growing market demand and consolidate the plant’s importance within the group.”