LECCO, Italy, May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the Agostoni family, second generation owner/operators of ICAM S.p.A., announced expansion of their award-winning private label chocolate manufacturing program with a new North American sales office operating under the brand "Agostoni Chocolate."
Located in Los Angeles, California, the new Agostoni Chocolate sales team will work directly with North American retailers and consumer brand companies to develop premium chocolate products based on a proven private label service model that offers a wide range of stock and custom options.
According to Carla Baroni, head of export for the company, the decision to open a direct sales office in the U.S. was based on the family's strong impression that North American consumers have become very sensitive to chocolate product quality. "Our recent North American projects confirm retailers there are leveraging premium private label chocolates that emphasize organic farming or unique cocoa origins to create a positive halo effect for top private label brand families."
Chocolate Product Differentiation = Private Label SKU Velocity
In 2009, the Agostoni factory produced nearly 7000 tons of private label product, the equivalent of 70 million 100g chocolate bars. The family's approach to value-added private label chocolate making is rooted in their commitment to in-house production of all the cocoa-related ingredients in its finished chocolate, winnowing and grinding raw cocoa in-house to produce top-quality cocoa liquor, butter and powder—crucial basic ingredients for finished chocolate which they also produce in their factory in the Lake Como region of Italy.
Starting in the early 1980s, ICAM's head of sourcing—Dr. Angelo Agostoni—began developing the company's Equal Partner Direct Buying program, to secure a reliable supply of high quality fermented beans by respecting the rights of farmers to a fair price and an independent livelihood. Dr. Agostoni was the first commercial customer for fermented cocoa beans from CONACADO, the Dominican farmers cooperative that is now one of the world's most important sources for premium organic cocoa. Beyond the Dominican Republic, the Agostoni family has built up strong Equal Partner relationships in key cocoa-sourcing origins such as Ecuador and Peru.
About Agostoni Chocolate and ICAM S.p.A.
Family operated since 1946, the company is an Italian "modern artisan" farm-to-bar producer of premium all natural chocolate for industrial, food service, and private label customers. A leader in organic cocoa processing (approximately 20% of global supplies), with an eco-sustainable state-of-the-art cocoa processing facility and a commitment to producing premium product from responsibly grown and sourced raw cocoa, the family's credo is simple: "Our chocolate making passion: art and science in equal measure." www.agostonichocolate.com
SOURCE Agostoni Chocolate