Lembeke / BE. (lbbv) It is the ambition of Belgium’s Lotus Bakeries Group to grow «Lotus Biscoff» («the LB brand») to become the third largest cookie brand in the world. Over the last ten years, revenue for the LB brand has grown by an average of 13 percent. Lotus Bakeries is now present in more than 70 countries worldwide, with sales of more than EUR1 million in 28 of those countries. The growth achieved in recent years on the Five continents where Lotus Bakeries already operates, combined with the broad potential for international growth still to be realised, supports its belief that it can achieve this ambition.
Lotus Bakeries’ growth ambitions are accompanied by substantial investments in additional production capacity. In addition to the investments in Europe (Belgium) and North America (the US), Lotus Bakeries today reveals its plans to start up a Further production Facility for «Biscoff» on a third continent: Asia.
The Asia-Pacific region has become increasingly important for the LB brand over the past few years. Lotus Bakeries already has sales offices and its own teams in China and South Korea, while the Lotus Bakeries team in Hong Kong manages the other countries in the region in partnership with its distributors. Both the LB brand Cookies and the LB brand Spread have established a growing presence in the region. Sales have increased significantly with a double digit CAGR in the past 5 years. No fewer than seven countries in the Global the LB brand Top 25 are now Located in this region: China, South Korea, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. On the other hand, awareness of the LB brand and its availability to the hundreds of millions of consumers in this region are still Limited and evolving. The growth potential for the LB brand in these Large, growing consumer markets thus remains immense.
The rationale for a third «Biscoff» plant in Asia is straightforward. The new plant will provide the necessary additional capacity for the Group, bring Fresher cookies to the consumer, will be able to respond faster and better to local opportunities, and will save transport costs and Further reduce the ecological Footprint of the company. Recent experience with the construction and start-up of the second «Biscoff» plant in the US provides the Group with a project Framework and strongly reduces the project risk.
In recent months, the project team has been working in an initial phase to select the country within this large region. At the end of this exercise, Thailand was selected as the new home country for this investment. The criteria For selecting Thailand were its central location in the region, the existing presence of a strong food industry, the associated availability of raw materials, the country’s culture and labour regulations and cost.
In a second phase, the site for the construction of the new Factory was also chosen. Today, Lotus Bakeries reached an agreement in principle with an internationally renowned developer for the purchase of a piece of industrial land in Chonburi province. This province is part of the so-called Eastern Economic Corridor that is being developed by the Thai government as a key economic zone for the region. The corridor lies east of Bangkok and runs southwards along the coast of the Gulf of Thailand. Many international companies from various sectors are planning new investments in this corridor. There is a sufficiently large pool of labour available, while good access to the international port of Laem Chabang is another important asset in Facilitating Future exports.
The actual project will start in the next Few months after the formal closing of the purchase of the Land. According to the current timescale, the First line will be operational in 2026.