Belgian bakery company Lotus Bakeries has engaged Royal HaskoningDHV to support with the design and setup of a new manufacturing facility in Thailand.
Founded in 1932, Lotus Bakeries is a listed bakery company with a range of products, including biscuits, cookies, crackers and crispbreads. The Belgian group currently sells its products in about 70 countries and generates revenues of roughly €750 million.
To meet growing demand for its products in Asia, a region which now accounts for about a sixth of global sales on the back of five consecutive years of double-digit growth, Lotus Bakeries is planning to open a new production facility for its Biscoff cookies (caramelised biscuits) in Thailand. The plant will become the company’s first plant outside of Europe and the United States.
In a statement announcing the expansion into Asia, Lotus Bakeries stated: “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.”
The move will also help Lotus Bakeries capitalise on further growth in Asia. The company currently sells its products in countries such as China, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, and expects to increase its footprint in the next years.
The Belgian company picked Thailand for “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.”
To realise the new plant, Lotus Bakeries last year purchased a piece of land in the Chonburi province, part of the so-called Eastern Economic Corridor that is being developed by the Thai government as an economic zone for the region. The corridor lies east of Bangkok and runs southwards along the coast of the Gulf of Thailand.
Designing the new facility
Now kicking off the build preparion phase, Lotus Bakeries has hired experts from Royal HaskoningDHV to support with the design of the plant. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Royal HaskoningDHV is a global engineering consultancy with over 50 offices worldwide, 11 of which are based in Asia Pacific – including a hub in Bangkok.
The consulting firm will also help the bakery business with early work around procurement, construction and project management. Sustainability is another area of focus: the consultants will advise on how sustainability can be placed at the centre of the facility’s design, including the use of solar energy, recycling, and sustainable production methods and materials.
“We couldn’t be happier about developing this partnership with Lotus Bakeries. We are proud to be able to tap into our own experience in manufacturing, digital technology and sustainable business development to bring this future-proof manufacturing plant to life,” said René Dahmen, Director of the Multinationals business unit at Royal HaskoningDHV.
Lotus Bakeries aims to open the factory for its Biscoff cookies in 2026.
Meanwhile, the bakery group is simultaneously investing in increasing its capacity in other parts of the world. In the US, for example, Lotus Bakeries anticipates doubling its capacity in the next few years.