Polish chocolate maker E.Wedel, a subsidiary of Japan’s Lotte Group, has confirmed that it is eyeing expansion in Eastern Europe amid reports the company is planning to build five new plants in Poland.

“With the acquisition of Wedel, the Lotte Group gained a toehold to secure a production base in the European market for future development and intends to expand this business throughout the European market,” a Wedel spokesperson told just-food. 

However, the spokesperson declined to give more details of the plan. “We do not comment on the story regarding the five new plants that Lotte is about to build in Poland,” she added. Polish media has reported possible investment of EUR200m (US$270m). 

Two months ago, Lotte’s director general Takayuki Tsukuda said at a conference in Poland that Wedel was key to Lotte’s strategy in Europe. Tsukuda revealed that the company was planning to add more products, such as chewing gum, to Wedel’s chocolate-based product line.

Lotte announced in June a deal to buy Wedel from Kraft Foods in the wake of the US food giant’s takeover over UK confectioner Cadbury.