The firm has also appointed a new senior management team for the region, which it says will focus on innovation as a means of growing its business in the mature North American market. "Barry Callebaut is committed to becoming the No. 1 industrial chocolate manufacturer in the United States," said Massimo Garavaglia, president of Food Manufacturers and Gourmet & Specialties North America for Barry Callebaut. The Switzerland-based firm said Chicago's central location will give it greater access to its customers throughout the country. According to Garavaglia, Barry Callebaut is focused on growing twice as fast as the global chocolate market. The firm recently announced a supply and innovation partnership with The Hershey Company, a move it claims will "transform" its business in North America by significantly strengthening its factory network and doubling its production capacity in the Americas region. In terms of production, Barry Callebaut has signed up to provide Hershey with at least 80,000 tonnes of chocolate and chocolate products each year. In addition, the Swiss company will lease some of Hershey's facilities in the US and transfer chocolate-making machinery into Hershey-owned plants. The increased US activity is set to boost Barry Callebaut's production capacity by 130,000 tonnes per annum. Barry Callebaut currently operates five production facilities in North America, and plans to open a factory in Mexico next year. The company claims a major focus is research and development, which it hopes will allow it to provide innovative chocolate tastes.