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Ezaki Glico acquires US chocolate manufacturer TCHO

FBR Staff Writer Published 21 February 2018

Japanese food conglomerate Ezaki Glico has acquired US-based craft chocolate manufacturer TCHO Ventures from Emil Capital Partners and other investors for an undisclosed price.

Based in Berkeley, California, TCHO makes a variety of chocolates ranging from single-origin dark chocolates to flavored bars, to a full offering of chocolates designed for professional chefs.

Ezaki Glico aims to boost its chocolate business through the acquisition of TCHO. For the US chocolate manufacturer, the acquisition by the Japanese firm is expected to give it an even stronger base in the market.

Ezaki Glico, in a statement said: “TCHO, a premium craft chocolate company known for its superior quality chocolate, has earned strong brand recognition in the US market and particularly amongst millennials, the generation with the highest purchase intent.

“The overall market in the premium chocolate category is expecting strong continued growth, and by acquiring TCHO and entering this market, Ezaki Glico aims to enhance its chocolate business.”

TCHO’s majority owner was Emil Capital Partners, a growth and venture capital company promoted by European retail group Tengelmann. Emil Capital made its first investment in the chocolate manufacturer in 2013.

TCHO said that the transaction has come at a perfect time for its development and also in the evolution of the chocolate industry. It further added that the diversity of chocolate offerings has boomed just like what is being seen for coffee, cheese, wine and beer.

TCHO CEO Marcel Bens said: “TCHO has a unique approach to sourcing, flavor and packaging – we work with farmers and cooperatives to help them produce better cocoa which is designed to benefit them and helps us make exceptionally delicious chocolate. 

“Ezaki Glico is a company that understands, appreciates and will continue to support that business model.”

TCHO said that in recent years, it had been regularly introducing new flavors and formats. Helped by that, the chocolate manufacturer claims to have expanded its distribution right across the US, reaching out to some of the leading retailers and food service distributors.

TCHO chocolate products, Left: 70g Bar, Middle: 8g Bar, Right: 140g Bites. Photo: courtesy of Business Wire.