New “House of Chocolate” adds chocolate experience center, unique pilot plant and sensory lab to support all-in-one product development and training
In a move to facilitate better product development and enhance the customer collaboration experience, Cargill unveils its plans for a “House of Chocolate” complex at its Mouscron, Belgium site.
The complex, which will be built alongside the company’s existing chocolate production plant, will include a state-of-the-art chocolate experience center, a unique pilot plant, a sensory lab and creative workspace for the company’s European R&D team of chocolate engineers.
The new 700 square meter complex will enable customers to experience the convenience of an all-in-one development process, from inspiration, innovation and training, through pilot lab testing, sensory testing and finally, culminating in commercial-scale production – at a single location.
The one-of-a-kind House of Chocolate brings three critical functions under one roof. At the company’s chocolate experience center, customers can gain inspiration from Cargill’s gourmet chocolate chefs, brainstorm new product concepts and elevate their chocolate knowledge through in-depth training sessions.
The on-site pilot plant allows product developers to test their concepts through small-scale production runs that replicate the manufacturing conditions of industrial lines, while the in-house sensory lab ensures those products deliver on consumers’ expectations for taste, visual appearance, texture and more.
Staffed by a team of more than 40 chocolate engineers, including sensory experts, technical service specialists and R&D scientists, the new facility will serve as the hub for all of Cargill’s chocolate, coating and filling activities.
Construction has already begun, with the pilot center scheduled to open in Fall 2021. The chocolate experience center and sensory lab will be operational in Jan 2022. The new complex will create around 10 new jobs in the community.