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Glacio-IJsboerke and Horsten International join hands to sell ice cream in China

After exporting its ice cream specialities to China since 2010, Glacio has now decided to set up a joint venture with Horsten International, a consulting company specialized in doing business in China.

In Belgium the Glacio Group is mainly known as the owner of IJsboerke, the most famous ice cream brand in the Benelux. The Glacio ice cream specialities are manufactured in the Beerse factory in Belgium, and are successfully exported to various countries such as Japan, Russia, the Middle East and since a few years also to China. There are no plans to manufacture the ice cream in China. Chinese consumers are eager to taste food products made in Belgium, as they are considered a better guarantee for quality.

The consumption of ice cream is a relatively new experience for most Chinese consumers and the average consumption of ice cream in China is still much lower than that of the West. Nevertheless, since 2014 China is already the world’s biggest ice cream market. Thanks to the fast development of the Chinese market and the growing interest in luxury products and food and beverages from the West, there is still enormous growth potential for Glacio.

Horsten International was started by Joos Horsten, the founding father of the successful joint venture of Janssen Pharmaceutical in China, set up in the mid-eighties of the past century. Since 1996 Horsten International is helping many Belgian and European companies to do business in China. With its eleven professionals, including three of Joos’ sons, Horsten has been instrumental to many successful projects and start-ups in China, in some of which Horsten is also a long term partner or shareholder. The announcement of the joint venture with Glacio coincides with the 20-year anniversary of Horsten International.

Peter Janssen, CEO of the Glacio Group, sees a lot of opportunities in China. “China is a strategic market for our company. We are successfully exporting our products to Japan since 1998, and since 2004 we have our own organisation there. Our experience in this country has inspired us to focus more on other emerging markets, such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Oman, Russia and China. We are convinced that, with the help of the China experts of Horsten, we can also be successful in a challenging market such as China.”

Bart Horsten, managing director of Horsten International, also sees a lot of advantages in the cooperation with Glacio: “Glacio is an authentic Flemish company: with its two production sites in the province of Antwerp, the company has a lot of know-how and unique products which are very suitable for the fast growing Chinese market: Chinese consumers are very fond of the ice desserts, ice pralines and special ice cream creations of Glacio. The unique combination of the quality products of Glacio on one side and the knowledge of the Chinese market and the presence of the Horsten team in China on the other side, offers a lot of benefits to make this project a success.”

The first employee was already recruited in Shanghai and soon the first containers to China will be shipped from Beerse.

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