Group CEO, Delfi Ltd
A chocolate mogul and real-life Willy Wonka, John Chuang’s long-running Delfi firm was at one time among the world’s largest chocolate manufacturers, and continues to embark on new business ventures
Group CEO of Delfi, John Chuang, capitalised on people’s love of all things chocolate to build his fortune in the regional confectionery industry. He has over 30 years of experience in the chocolate, confectionery and cocoa industries, and takes an active hand in co-ordinating the company’s global operations.
Delfi was founded by the Chuang family in the 1950s as a chocolate manufacturer based in Indonesia. The firm established a cocoa processing plant in the Philippines in the late 1980s, and subsequently acquired processing facilities in Europe, Mexico and Brazil. The brand was established in Singapore as Petra Foods in 1984.
The following decade proved profitable for the company; it grew to become Asia’s largest cocoa-bean grinder and the fourth largest in the world, servicing well-known brands such as Cadbury and Nestlé. Petra Foods’ cocoa ingredients division was sold to Zurich-based chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut in 2013 for US$950 million, allowing Petra to focus on its branded consumer business.
More recently, Delfi purchased the licence to the Van Houten brand of chocolates and cocoa products from Hershey’s Singapore for US$13 million in 2018, which includes exclusive and perpetual rights to the brand in key markets in Asia and Oceania.
Singapore Business Awards Businessman of the Year
Did You Know?
The Aztecs of 13th-century Mexico placed the cacao bean at a premium, even using it as currency.