Gama News – October - December 2023

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OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2023 £ 25 / € 30

Ferrara to acquire Jelly Belly Leading US confectionery brands join forces

Mars acquires confectionery retailer Hotel Chocolat Chocolate giant strengthens in retail

Tradeshow Insight InterTabac 2023 Anuga 2023

Gama Innovation Conference & Awards

Est. 2013—ISSN 2055—205 X






Ian Wright CBE

Valeria Krynetskaya

Josep Antoni Valls

Federico Dellafiore

Food & Drink Export Council


Alimentaria 2024

IFE 2024


CEO & Executive Editor Cesar Pereira

As another year draws to a close, you find us in celebratory mood: Q4 2023 marks the tenth anniversary not only of our business but also of this very magazine! We (and this publication! - see below) have all gone through some changes in that time, but Gama’s guiding mission to Inspire – Connect – Innovate remains undimmed and unaltered. We hope you like our latest revamp, created specially for the occasion. Speaking of updates, we have also been busy this year refining and finetuning our offering to better articulate our services and the value we provide to the industry. From research-led insights to partnership-building, there’s bound to be a way we can support your business. Turn to the back cover to find out more.

Another cause for celebration came in October with the eighth edition of the Gama Innovation Conference & Awards here in Manchester. We were delighted to welcome our biggest ever audience, with over 300 speciallyinvited guests joining this unique gathering both in person and online. Find out how it went on pages 13 to 26. Times may change but in this edition you’ll still find all our usual news, interviews and other features rounding up the latest happenings in the FMCG industry across the globe. Wishing you a successful 2024, and here’s to the next ten years! Cesar Pereira CEO, Gama

Peter House, Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 5AN United Kingdom

Gama News over the years

Company Number: GB 8773764 phone: +44 1618188700 @GamaConsumer

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Feb 2014

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Sep 2015

Dec 2023





US: Ferrara to acquire Jelly Belly

UK: Mars acquires confectionery retailer Hotel Chocolat



Industry Insight: Ian Wright CBE

Gama Innovation Conference & Awards 2023

29 Industry Insight: Valeria Krynetskaya



Look Ahead: Alimentaria 2024

Tradeshow Insight: Anuga

36 Look Ahead: IFE 2024 UPCOMING EVENTS

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Ferrara, the leading US sugar confectionery firm, has

quality, innovative sugar confections for the world

announced it has signed an agreement to acquire

and our deep relationships with retailers aligns per-

peer Jelly Belly through its holding company CTH for

fectly with the Jelly Belly track record and passion for

an undisclosed amount.

quality, reliability and customer service".

Jelly Belly is a family-run company renowned for its

Jelly Belly president and chief executive officer Lisa

specialty retail confections, including jelly bean

Brasher added: "Ferrara’s interest reflects the sub-

brands such as BeanBoozled and Sport Beans. The

stantial value of our storied brand, built on our team’s

acquisition includes Jelly Belly’s 100 flavours, 800 em-

many successes, and the opportunity to drive contin-

ployees, and its facilities in California, Illinois and Thai-

ued growth. We look forward to being a part of this


impressive company".

Commenting on the acquisition, Ferrara CEO Marco

The transaction is expected to be concluded by the

Capurso said: "We are excited to bring Jelly Belly’s im-

end of 2023.

aginative products and talented team into the Ferrara community. Our dedication to creating high-


Utz Brands, the US snack maker, has announced plans to rationalise its manufacturing network, including divesting a plant in Bluffton (IN), closing another in Hanover


By: Innovation Editor – North America Source / image source: Ferrara

(PA) and listing for sale two further plants in Louisiana and Alabama.

The company said the move was intended to streamline its operating structure by consolidating volume into a smaller number of facilities. In addition, Utz Brands said it had signed a built-to-suit agreement for a new circa 650,000 sq ft leased distribution centre in Hanover, which is expected to open in the first quarter of 2025.

Following these actions, the company said it would have 13 active plants, which includes the manufacturing

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facility in Kings Mountain (NC) purchased in April 2022. The volume from the closed facilities is expected to be absorbed by the remaining plant network and should reduce fixed overhead and drive efficiencies in manufacturing conversion costs, Utz Brands added. By: Innovation Editor – North America Source / image source: Utz Brands


Image source: Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting

Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting, an Indian personal and household care manufacturer, has acquired soap brands Jo, Doy, and Bacter Shield from Mumbai-based health & beauty firm VVF for an undisclosed sum. Wipro’s acquisition, its third within the space of a year, will reportedly allow it to strengthen its grip in the soap category by broadening its reach across segments and geographies. The Jo brand is said to hold a significant presence in the north, east and west of India, while Doy is said to operate in the premium segment. Bacter Shield offers an antibacterial range of soaps and handwashes. Commenting on the acquisition, Vineet Agrawal, CEO of Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting, said: "The acquired brands, Jo, Doy, and Bacter Shield, will complement the existing portfolio and provide a stronger foothold in key markets". "The brands will be available in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the Maldives", he noted. Rustom Godrej Joshi, VVF’s chairman & MD, added: "The divestment of Jo, Doy, and Bacter Shield to Wipro aligns with our focus on optimising our portfolio and underscores our confidence in Wipro’s ability to nurture and elevate these brands". By: Innovation Editor – Asia Pacific Source: Economic Times / Live Mint / Startup Story


Pfeifer & Langen, a German sugar and snacks firm, has taken a majority stake in Rugenwalder Muhle, a manufacturer of meat and meat alternatives. According to a Vegconomist report, the deal forms part of Pfeifer & Langen’s strategy to expand in the plant-based space. The company already has stakes in Vbites and Endori, which manufacture vegan products. Rugenwalder Muhle, which began life as a meat products specialist, evolved its portfolio in 2014 and is now the leading Germany producer of meat alternatives.

Commenting on the acquisition, Guido Colsman, managing partner at Pfeifer & Langen, said: "Pfeifer & Langen Industrie- und Handels KG sees itself as a family-run group of individual companies with their own character. We are therefore the ‘right harbour’ for Rügenwalder Mühle, in which our new holding can and should continue its special culture of corporate management. At the same time, it will utilise the Group’s expertise – just as we will benefit from Rügenwalder Mühle’s expertise and entrepreneurial strength".

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Christian Rauffus, deputy chairman of the supervisory board at Rugenwalder Muhle, added: "Our company has developed from what was once a regional sausage factory into one of a leading company for plant-based foods in Germany. In less than ten years, we have brought vegetarian and vegan meat alternatives out of their niche and into the centre of society. With this investment, we want to take the opportunity to further develop this portfolio, especially beyond the German market". By: Innovation Editor – Europe Source: Vegconomist / Rugenwalder Muhle Image source: Pfeifer & Langen


Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB), the Indian Coca-Cola subsidiary, has announced plans to invest 1,387 crore INR ($166 million) to set up a new bottling plant in Ratnagiri, in India’s Maharashtra state, according to a report in the Economic Times. The facility will reportedly be spread across an 88-acre site in the Lote Parshuram Industrial area and draw water for its operations from the Vashishthi river. The plant is set to create 350 direct and indirect jobs, with HCCB adding that it expected 81,000 more people in the state to benefit through its community initiatives. Active since 1997, HCCB currently has 16 manufacturing facilities spread across 22 of In-

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dia’s states, manufacturing a range of 60 different products.

tributing Italian canned around the world.

The new bottling plant is due to come online in 2025.

De Martino has built an export network with major players in Japan, South East Asia and Scandinavia, and generates approximately €40 million ($43 million) from tomato-based canned food distribution.

By: Innovation Editor – Asia Pacific Source: Economic Times / HCCB Image source: HCCB


Italian tomato producer Casalasco has signed an agreement to acquire 70% of De Martino, a trading company specialised in dis-


The agreement, which follows Caslasco’s 2022 acquisition of Emiliana Conserve, will allow the company to export around 70% of its production in Europe, mainly in the UK, Germany and France. Additionally, the firm has plans to use the deal to expand its presence in the Far East, northern Europe and Japan. "Thanks to this operation, we are determined to strengthen our presence in markets which are strategic to us and add value to products tagged as Made in Italy", said Calasco CEO Costantino Vaia. "Working in partnership with experienced and qualified partners like De Martino will allow us to have an immedi-

ate impact on those geographical areas to generate production volume and profitability in the short term". By: Innovation Editor – Europe Source: La Stampa Image source: Casalasco


Lagoon Seafood, a fresh and frozen seafood company, has completed the construction of its 63,000 square feet state -of-the-art facility in Granby, Quebec.


IN BRIEF CTH Invest, a holding company associated with confectionery major Ferrero, has entered into exclusive negotiations to fully acquire the Michel et Augustin food and drinks brand from French consumer goods giant Danone. Founded in 2004, Michel et Augustin markets biscuits, dairy products, fresh desserts and beverages. Source: Ferrero / European Supermarket Magazine UK food manufacturer Premier Foods has announced the acquisition of breakfast brand


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Fuel10K in a deal worth £34 million ($41.2 million). The Fuel10k range includes granola, porridge, biscuits and high-protein snacks, and has reportedly recorded strong double-digit revenue growth over the last three years. Source: Premier Foods B&G Foods, the US-based ambient and frozen foods firm, has announced that it has sold its Green Giant US shelf-stable vegetable product line to peer Seneca Foods for an undisclosed sum. The deal excludes frozen items, Green Giant Canada and the Le Sueur brand. Source: B&G Foods / Seneca Foods

MARS ACQUIRES CONFECTIONERY RETAILER HOTEL CHOCOLAT UK: CHOCOLATE GIANT STRENGTHENS IN RETAIL Hive Bidco, a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of US confectionery firm Mars, has signed an agreement to acquire Hotel Chocolat, a UK chocolate manufacturer and retailer, in a deal worth £534 million ($663 million).

discussions with Hotel Chocolat’s leadership it has also become clear that there is a very strong cultural f it, with purpose at the heart of both organizations and a shared passion for quality and sustainability", he added.

Hotel Chocolat established its first store in North London nearly two decades ago, subsequently expanding to over 130 UK locations. The firm also has a presence in Japan and the Caribbean.

Hotel Chocolat CEO Angus Thirlwell said: "We know our brand resonates with consumers overseas, but operational supply chain challenges have held us back. By partnering with Mars, we can grow our international presence much more quickly".

Commenting on the acquisition, Mars Snacking global president Andrew Clarke said: "Hotel Chocolat is a differentiated and much-loved brand, with an impressive product offering and a deep commitment to its values of originality, authenticity and ethical trading".

The deal is expected to close by the end of January 2024.

"The Mars and Hotel Chocolat businesses are highly complementary, and during the course of our

The new production and packaging facility elevates the company’s operations, supporting the production of Blue Tide branded and private-label products. Commenting on the news, Lagoon Seafood business resource manager Michael Cheaib said: "The completion of this project propels us forward in ways we could only dream of a few years ago. Our expanded Granby facility is at the core of our company’s expansion into Ontario, Western Canada, and the United States to meet our new levels of customer demand". "The renovated and expanded facility will support our commitment to bring new product lines across our market to re-

By: Innovation Editor – Europe Source: Mars / FoodBev Image source: Mars

spond to our customers’ needs most effectively", he added. With the expansion, Lagoon has increased its employees in the production department by 100%.

nounced the acquisition of a frying facility in Aleson, in Spain’s La Rioja region, as it seeks to bolster its manufacturing capability.

By: Innovation Editor – North America Source / image source: Lagoon Seafood

SPAIN: GRUPO APEX ACQUIRES MANUFACTURING FACILITY Leading Spanish-based snacks company Grupo Apex has an-

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According to a FoodBev report, the facility had been closed since 2021 but was previously operated by Patatas Lahera. Grupo Apex plans to produce crisps and other savoury snacks in the new plant, which includes a continuous production line, two industrial fryers and two packaging machines.

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INDUSTRY INSIGHT IAN WRIGHT CBE Gama spoke to Ian Wright CBE, Co-Chair, Food and Drink Export Council

What challenges are consumers facing and how should suppliers respond? The cost of living is a major problem right the way around the world and it's making a big difference to the ability of our customers, our consumers and most importantly our shoppers to be able to choose the products that they want from the widest possible selection. Increasingly they're constrained in what they can buy because they simply don't have the money to make those choices, and that means the industry has to adapt in terms of ingredients, the style of products it's offering and the size of portions. Only by being highly flexible will people across the board be able to afford our products.

" Increasingly consumers are constrained in what they can buy, and that means the Industry has to adapt “

so many terrible international conflicts, the supply chains that we've all come to know and rely upon have become much more strained. It's difficult now to get containers around the world, it's difficult to get ingredients from wherever you happen to want them and it's difficult to make sure that supply is assured. Another of the concerns that drives that assurance of supply is climate change and we can see the effects of that everywhere we look. Any of us who have followed the weather events of the last 12 months will know just how serious the challenges that climate change poses for us are going to be: they mean that it’s more expensive to plant product, that it's more expensive to harvest it, and often that farmers can't afford to produce the amount of food they have in the past simply because of the risk that that product won't grow. We have to adapt to those changes as well. What are the major consumer trends in food and drink running into 2024?

What other headwinds is the food and drink industry facing, now and in the future?

We're seeing a remarkable move forward in the kinds of products which are deliberately conceived to help people's health. I think we will see more of that in the future as increasingly the need to guard against disease, and the want on the part of shoppers to lead healthier lifestyles becomes more and more common, not just in every part of the world but also in every social group.

Post-Covid, and in the context of

Another growth category is inter


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" We're seeing a remarkable move forward in products which are conceived to help people's health, as the want on the part of shoppers to lead healthier lifestyles becomes more common "

national-style products: I think we're going to see a much wider array of products from different countries becoming popular. The reason for that is that the internet and social media absolutely reinforce the willingness and the ability of those customers, consumers and shoppers to choose from a much wider slate of products. The internationalisation of choice is continuing even as globalisation comes under threat. There will be tensions because people will continue to want products that they can't actually obtain, but supply chains will adapt.

The investment will reportedly generate more than 50 jobs and is aligned with the firm’s strategy to expand its presence in Spain. The group plans to start operating the new factory in December and also has plans to increase the number of production lines in 2024. By: Innovation Editor – Europe Source: FoodBev Image source: Grupo Apex


years back and thus contribution from the Southern region has doubled". By: Innovation Editor – Asia Pacific Source: Economic Times / India Retailing Image source: Dabur


LDC Group, the French poultry

processing giant, is reportedly negotiating to acquire Indykpol Group, a firm specialising in turkey meat. Dabur, a diversified FMCG manufacturer specialised in ayurvedic products, has announced plans to set up a new factory in the south of India within a year, with a view to expanding its portfolio with products tailored to the needs of local consumers. The move reportedly aligns with the company’s overall strategy to enhance manufacturing capacity and diversify production lines, catering to growing demand in the retail sector. Commenting on the move, Dabur CEO Mohit Malhotra said: "We are creating a framework in the company where we can create products which are exclusively meant for the South of India for which we have got this framework called RISE, which is regional insights, speed and execution". "We have made substantial progress in South India… it now contributes 19 to 20 per cent of Dabur’s domestic business", he added. "This was not even 10 per cent around seven to eight

acquisition process by Q2 2024, subject to regulatory clearance.. By: Innovation Editor – Europe Source: Just Food / Market Screener Image source: LDC / Indykpol (montage)


FMCG giant PepsiCo has announced it is investing 200 million SAR ($53.3million) to upgrade a snacks facility in Saudi Arabia.

According to an article in Just Food, LDC is in "advanced" talks with Rolmex, Indykpol’s owner, to buy the company.

According to sources, the facility is located in the Eastern city of Dammam and the investment will enable an increase in production capacity to meet growing demand on both local and export markets.

Indykpol is said to have reported sales of €228 million ($244 million) in 2022. The firm owns a processing plant located in northern Poland, as well as more than 16 hectares of farms and a hatchery.

On its website, PepsiCo Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) describes itself as major export hub for PepsiCo in the Middle East, serving Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states in addition to Jordan and Iraq.

Commenting on the proposed deal, LDC said: "In line with LDC’s international expansion strategy, this new acquisition would consolidate an already solid presence of the LDC group via its subsidiaries of the Drosed group on the poultry market in Poland, making it possible to enrich the range with raw products, charcuterie and processed turkey products".

The investment is said to be part of the Saudi Arabia Vision 2023 strategy, which aims to "enhance the Saudi agricultural sector and boost sustainable food production in the Kingdom".

LDC currently owns 13 facilities in Poland, six dedicated to prepared poultry and the remainder to "upstream" operations. Both firms aim to finalise the

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PepsiCo manufactures Lay’s branded products, Doritos and Quaker Oats in Saudi Arabia, as well as the local crisp brand Tasali. The expansion is expected to be finalised in 2024. By: Innovation Editor – Middle East & Africa Source: Just Food / PepsiCo Image source: PepsiCo

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Mondelez International, the global snacking and confectionery giant, has announced a A$13 million ($8.4 million) investment in a state-of-the-art automated packaging line at its Gourmet Food manufacturing facility at Dandenong, Victoria, according to an article in Food & Drink Business. The investment is part of a wider A$25 million ($16.2 million) investment that the company has made since acquiring Gourmet Food in 2021.

Commenting on the investment, Gourmet Food MD Bevan Tippet said: "The investment will increase the production of our prominent Olina’s Artisan range by a third, as we meet growing local and export demand. Already, twenty percent of our volumes are exported overseas, and this investment will equip us to explore and capture opportunities to showcase our Australian-made products to the world".

By: Innovation Editor – Asia Pacific Source: Food & Drink Business Image source: Mondelez


Nissin Foods, an instant noodle manufacturer, has announced an investment of $228 million to develop a third U.S. manufacturing facility in Greenville County, South Carolina. The 640,000 sq ft facility will produce a range of products from the Nissin Foods lineup, including Top Ramen, Cup Noodles, and Hot & Spicy Fire Wok, with the ability for future expansion as required. Commenting on the move, Nissin Foods USA CEO and president Michael Price said: "For more than 65 years, our instant ramen products and brands have cultivated a loyal consumer base, which has fueled our relentless growth in the market". "With the southeastern portion of the US being a priority market for Nissin Foods, Greenville’s geographic accessibility, talented labour market, and competitive cost of living make it an ideal location for our new plant".

In a statement, the company said the extension would allowed it to shift from an extensive manual operation to a notouch automated solution.


IN BRIEF Albert Heijn, the leading Dutch supermarket chain, has announced the launch of a new plant -based line under the brand AH Terra. Over 200 products are included in the line. The supermarket said the move was part of its efforts to ensure that 60% of the proteins it sells by 2030 are plant based. Source: Albert Heijn

Iceland, the UK frozen food retailer, has announced the launch of 500 new exclusive products in its Iceland and The Food Warehouse stores, as well as its concessions in The Range. The

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new range includes ready meals under brand licences such as TGI Fridays, Yo!, Cathedral City, Blue Dragon and MyProtein, as well as own brand offerings. Sweet options are also being expanded under a range of confectionery brands. Source: Grocery Gazette / Retail Times Asda, the UK grocery retailer, has announced the launch of a new line of cooking ingredients under the banner Cook By Asda. The new line-up of over 130 "affordable, high-quality" pre-prepared ingredients is intended to inspire shoppers to experiment with different flavours, the company said. Source: Asda

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Mid-September, and the attention of tobacco and nicotine businesses was once again drawn to the German city of Dortmund as the latest edition of InterTabac, the industry’s global flagship trade event, opened its doors for three days of networking, conferences and exhibitions. At 13,500, visitor numbers were said to be up on 2022, while exhibitor representation was also strong with 680 companies (representing 60 different countries) showcasing their latest concepts and innovations. Delegations attended from Honduras, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia and Cuba, while the Consulate General of Turkey and the Romanian Chamber of Foreign Trade were also present. Over half of all visitors were from overseas, with the USA, Canada, Brazil and Colombia said to have been especially well represented.

" Reduced-risk products were prominent, with nearly a quarter of exhibitors showcasing e-cigarettes " While classic tobacco products proved very much the mainstay, reduced-risk and even nicotinefree products were also extremely prominent, with nearly a quarter of exhibitors showcasing ecigarette products. Notably, the day before the show saw the launch of the Global Vape Alliance, a new initiative which aims to coordinate global resources and promote sustainable development and collaboration between vaping businesses. Meanwhile, the Supporting Programme included "Speed Fire Presentations" where next-generation brands presented their latest innovations. Other highlights were the presentation of the Cannabis Trend Report, the InterTabac Star awards

Gama & Mike Tyson, Futurola


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and a panel discussion on reducedrisk products. Out on the show floor, the most exciting innovations proved to be in the nicotine-free space, with ingredients such as tea and coffee being touted as alternatives to traditional tobacco in both the vaping and heated tobacco categories. Elsewhere, nicotine pouches where branching out with functional ingredients, brand licensing concepts proved popular, and supplements (especially with an energizing benefit) emerged as an alternative to nicotine pouches.

" The most exciting Innovations proved to be in the nicotine-free space, with ingredients being touted as tobacco alternatives " InterTabac returns to Dortmund in 2024 for its next edition, beginning on 19th September. Image source: Gama

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"Opening a third facility marks a critical turning point for Nissin Foods, solidifying our leadership position in the US market as we continue to grow the instant ramen category", he added. Construction is expected to begin in December 2023 and the plant is projected to be operational by August 2025. By: Innovation Editor – North America Source: Nissin Foods / FoodBev Image source: Nissin Foods


Australian Beer (ABCo), a brewing firm that is part of the Casella Family Brands group, has announced the acquisition of Ampersand Projects, Australia’s leading independent spirit company, for an undisclosed sum. The deal strengthens ABCo’s position in spirits and flavoured alcoholic beverages (FABs), while also allowing Ampersand Projects full access to ABCo’s capabilities and resources. Commenting on the move, Casella Family Brands managing director John Casella said: "This is an exciting acquisition for Australian Beer Company as we continue to build our offering in the spirits and RTD categories. I look forward to the founders joining our business to continue the great success they have enjoyed to date".

Shaun Rankins, co-founder of Vodka Soda & Ampersand Projects said: "I see this acquisition as more than just a business deal; it is a relationship that brings together the strengths of two independent companies with similar ideologies to continue to innovate the spirit industry". "With both companies valuing trust, integrity and respect, this acquisition will see unparalleled synergies and continued growth", he added. "Utilising Casella Family Brands legacy and time-tested expertise – this new relationship will maintain and deepen our customer and supplier relationships remaining a proudly Independent Australian business". By: Innovation Editor – Asia Pacific Source: Drinks Trade / The Crafty Pint Image source: Australian Beer


bring consumers into our portfolio. DAOU has done an incredible job with regards to the experience at DAOU Mountain as well as engaging with younger wine consumers across the country, and we see very significant opportunity to take that experience globally". TWE added that DAOU was "a strong complement to its existing portfolio in upperluxury price points".

Georges and Daniel Daou, founders of DAOU, commented: "In Treasury Wine Estates, we have found a partner that not only understands the value of our brand and the premium assets we have cultivated but also the importance of ensuring that we maintain a relentless focus on quality and craftsmanship as we step into our future". The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2023, subject to US anti-trust approval. By: Innovation Editor – North America Source / image source: Treasury Wine Estates


Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), the Australian wine giant, has reached an agreement to acquire DAOU Vineyards, a US luxury wine brand, for $900 million. The acquisition includes the DAOU brand, DAOU Mountain Estate, four boutique luxury wineries and around 400 acres of vineyards. Commenting on the acquisition, Treasury Americas president Ben Dollard said: "We’re really excited about the opportunity for the wine category to engage new consumers, and particularly to Gama Information Services Ltd.

Hero, the Swiss preserves, snacks, and infant nutrition manufacturer, has announced plans to close its jam-making factory in Lenzburg, Switzerland, where the firm also has its headquarters. The decision was taken by the board after employee proposals submitted during the consultation period did not provide a viable alternative, the company said in a statement.

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The plant was opened in 2011 but never managed to reach adequate capacity utilization, a situation further compounded by an ongoing decline in jam consumption in Switzerland, Hero added.

"Our strategic development of Kerrygold Park is central to this ambition and will support the next phase of growth for Kerrygold on its journey to become Ireland’s first €2 billion food brand", he added.

"We are very saddened by this decision to close the production facility in Lenzburg, and especially by the loss of employment for 48 of our people", said Hero Group CEO Rob Versloot. "It is a sad day at Hero, but at the same time it is our duty to take decisions that will ensure the long-term competitiveness of the company".

Ornua also said it had boosted its on-site headcount at Kerrygold Park by 20%, bringing the total workforce to 180.

The factory is set to close at the end of 2024.

By: Innovation Editor – Europe Source / image source: Ornua

Ornua, the Irish dairy cooperative, has announced a €40 million ($44 million) development at Kerrygold Park, its butter production facility in Mitchelstown, Ireland. This investment will increase Kerrygold Park’s annual processing capacity to 80,000 tonnes of butter, equivalent to over 1 million packs daily. Commenting on the move, Ornua co-operative chair Aidan O’Driscoll said: "We are […] passionate about growing the brand’s global status further and focused on safeguarding the value it returns to the Irish dairy sector through the premiumisation of Irish dairy".



USA: KEURIG DR PEPPER TO INVEST $100 MILLION IN COFFEE PLANT Global spirits firm Amber Beverage Group (ABG) has announced plans to invest €35 million ($35.9 million) in a new distillery for its Walsh whiskey business in Dunleckney, Ireland.

By: Innovation Editor – Europe Source / image source: Hero


By: Innovation Editor – North America Source: Food Business News / Food Processing / World Coffee Portal Image source: Keurig Dr Pepper

Keurig Dr Pepper, the soft drinks and coffee firm, has announced plans to invest $100 million to expand its coffee roasting facility in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, generating more than 250 new jobs by 2027. The facility, which was opened two years ago with an initial $380 million investment, is focused on roasting and packaging coffee for K-Cup pods designed for Keurig brewers. Commenting on the move, Keurig Dr Pepper chief supply chain officer Roger Johnson said: "Our facility in South Carolina remains an important asset in the ongoing evolution of our nextgeneration coffee production capabilities. Keurig Dr Pepper is proud to continue to grow in the welcoming and talentrich community of Moore". With the latest investment, the facility has expanded to just over 708,000 sq ft..

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The new facility will become the home for the premium brand Writers’ Tears and The Irishman, and is expected to reach a production capacity of 4 million litres of pure alcohol annually. Commenting on the investment, ABG CEO Jekaterina Stuge said: "This is ABG’s second major investment in the fast-growing Irish whiskey category following our acquisition of Walsh Whiskey and its super-premium Irish whiskey brands, Writers’ Tears and The Irishman, in 2021. Once commissioned our distillery will enable ABG to become one of the major global producers of Irish whiskey". Walsh Whiskey founder and managing director Bernard Walsh added: "Located in the heart of Ireland’s barley growing region, with its own supply of natural water, the 18th century riverside location of Dunleckney has been a special location for producing drink and food since the 1700s. Milled corn, beer, and malted grain have all been produced at this

INDUSTRY INSIGHT VALERIA KRYNETSKAYA Gama spoke to Valeria Krynetskaya, Head of Plant-Based Venture THRYVE, IFFCO Group

What are the drivers behind consumers’ dietary choices in the Middle East? At the moment, consumers are mostly looking to evolve their diet towards lower salt, lower sugar and free from to reduce their weight. An important factor in these choices in the GCC is the doctor or nutritionist who advises them what kind of diet to follow in order to improve their health and reduce the risk of lifestyle-related diseases.

Unfortunately plant-based is not yet in the top tier of the diets that they're choosing because there has been no education or leadership. With our THRYVE venture we are taking it on ourselves to educate our consumers about the health benefits plant-based food can provide. How is the shift towards vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian diets progressing in the Middle East? When we talk about changing diets and changing consumption patterns it's always important to understand the segmentation of our consumers. We know that in Europe and the West we're very familiar with flexitarian diets, but when it comes to the Middle East this is a very new notion. If we look at the Middle East then most of the population is still within the ‘omnivore’ space. What is different in the Middle East is that the transition from omnivore to flexitarian is not linear – first they want to reduce their meat consumption and only then they will start looking into replacement.

the Middle East and how can these be overcome?

" With our THRYVE venture, we are taking it on ourselves to educate consumers about the health benefits plant-based food can provide "

What was the rationale for launching a plant-based brand in the Middle East? A difference in the GCC versus many other regions is that historically there have been troubling statistics in relation to lifestylerelated disease. What triggered our decision to invest in the GCC region with a plant-based food strategy was that we could see there was the same response to the pandemic in the Middle East as in the rest of the world – people wanted to rediscover their relationship with food and how it could impact their health.

To address the challenge of food choices in the Middle East, we need to address the centre of the plate, and if we look what is typically on the centre of the plate in the Middle East it's chicken. With THRYVE we're using attitude studies to address the ‘chicken challenge’ by understanding how the reducetarian / flexitarian trend is developing.

The good news is that 80% of ‘omnivores’ say they are already considering reducing their meat intake because they clearly associate meat with certain health impacts.

" The transition to flexitarian is not linear – first consumers want to reduce their meat consumption and only then they will start looking into replacement "

However it's not only about changes to consumption patterns but also about changes to policy and regulation, and we have high expectations for these changes. What are the obstacles to wider take-up of plant-based food in

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site, so whiskey is a natural progression". Construction is expected to begin in 2024 and the plant is projected to be operational by 2026. By: Innovation Editor – Europe Source: Amber Beverage Group / FoodBev Image source: Amber Beverage Group


The acquisition will complement AG Barr’s current portfolio, which includes brands such as Irn-Bru, Boost, Funkin, and Rubicon. The Rio brand has been marketed, sold and distributed on an exclusive licence basis by AG Barr’s recently-acquired Boost Drinks division since 2021. Commenting on the acquisition, AG Barr CEO Roger White said: "As brand builders we are delighted to acquire the Rio brand and secure its long-term position in our wider portfolio. This allows us to realise the benefits of full brand ownership and support Rio’s continued growth". "This acquisition is a further positive indication of our strategic ambitions", he added.

AG Barr, the UK-based soft drinks firm, has announced the acquisition of soft drinks brand Rio from independent brewer Hall and Woodhouse in a deal worth £12.3 million ($15 million).

By: Innovation Editor Europe Source / image source: AG Barr


JM Smucker, the US-based food and beverage company, has announced that it has come to an agreement to sell its Bick’s pickles, Habitant pickled beets, Woodman’s horseradish, and McLarens pickled onions brands to private label specialist TreeHouse Foods. The brands included in the transaction generated net sales of approximately $60 million for JM Smucker’s fiscal year ended April 2023. Tim Wayne, JM Smucker senior vice president & general manager, commented: "This decision will allow us to enhance focus on growing our position in the coffee, spreads, frozen handheld and pet categories in Canada with leading and emerging brands such as Folgers®, Smucker’s®, Jif®, Smucker’s® Uncrustables®, Meow Mix® and Milk-Bone®,


IN BRIEF Krishna’s Herbal and Ayurveda, a leading supplier of ayurvedic medicines, has announced an investment of 5 crore INR ($600,000) to develop a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Jodhpur, India. The new 6,000 sq m facility will initially add capacity of 20,000 litres, which can be expanded to 80,000 litres. Source: Economic Times / Indian Retailer JBS, the Brazilian meat firm, has started construction of what it claims is the first re-


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search & development centre in Brazil for cultivated protein. Located in Florianopolis, in the state of Santa Catarina, the new facility is planned to be built in three phases via an estimated investment of $62 million. Source: JBS Cargill, the global food and agribusiness firm, has announced the opening of a state-of-theart Cocoa Development Centre in Gresik, Indonesia. The centre is located in the same site as Cargill’s cocoa processing plant and is aimed to boost consumer-driven innovation. The company said the facility was the first of its kind in Asia-Pacific. Source: Cargill


140,000 food and drink professionals from over 200 countries packed the halls of Kolnmesse’s extensive showgrounds in the German city of Cologne in early October, as Anuga once again proved itself to be the world’s stand-out event for the consumer goods industry.

Gama with Shamim Sainul Abdeen, Director Private Label, Lulu Group International

Growth", encompassing a swathe of sustainability topics ranging from responsible use of resources, through to supply chain optimisation, the circular economy and "fair" production methods. Kolnmesse noted that companies are focusing on more efficient methods of production that require less energy and packaging, as well as regionally -sourced ingredients, and that technology such as artificial intelligence and cellular agriculture are set to play a pivotal role in future. Alongside a diversified event and congress programme and the regular Anuga Innovation Show, 2023 saw the first edition of the Anuga HORIZON conference, featuring inspiring lectures and panel discussions on the latest trends and challenges impacting the industry. Meanwhile, a "weareAnuga" social media campaign was launched to promote exchange between people from different cultures, industries and areas of interest, not just in Cologne but also at satellite events worldwide.

Altogether, nearly 8,000 visitors set up stall across the numerous pavilions, which as usual were organised largely by broad product categories such as fine food, chilled, bakery, dairy, meat and drinks. Anuga’s particularly international character was underlined by the fact that 94% of exhibitors, and 80% of visitors, came from outside Germany, the latter a record for the event. Within Europe, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey saw large numbers of registrations.

Gama with Tomás Fuertes, Chairman and Rafael Fuentes, CEO, ElPozo

Out on the show floor, product launches being advertised by exhibitors demonstrated that plantbased products and alternative proteins continue to be a major innovation focus. Pulses and grains headlined many of these launches, with ingredients such as oats, coconut and chickpeaderived aquafaba all showing their hand. Elsewhere, alternatives to seafood were particularly prominent, with launches made from seaweed, wheat and pea protein among the examples of innovation on show. Fermenting and pickling also made a statement with novel concepts such as pickled soda. Anuga returns to Cologne for its next edition in 2025. Image source: Gama

" Plant-based products and alternative proteins continue to be a major focus "

Underlining the 2023 exhibition was the key theme of "Sustainable

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and supporting continued leadership in the baking category with our Robin Hood®, Five Roses®, Carnation® and Eagle Brand® brands". Steve Oakland, chairman, CEO, and president of TreeHouse Foods added: "This acquisition of assets is consistent with our strategy and enhances TreeHouse Foods’ depth in our growing pickles category, allowing us to expand into Canada and thus positioning TreeHouse for continued success". The transaction, which is valued at around $20 million, is expected to close in the third quarter of fiscal 2024. By: Innovation Editor – North America Source: JM Smucker Image source: JM Smucker / TreeHouse Foods (montage)



erating officer Kimberli Carroll said: "This additional manufacturing square footage will serve to meet our needs for additional capacity". The first production line is set to become operational during the first half of our fiscal year 2025, according to the company.

Ruiz Foods, a Mexican food firm, has announced the acquisition of two facilities in Vernon, CA to expand its overall manufacturing space by approximately 150,000 sq ft. Ruiz Foods subsidiary RG1 Holding Co acquired both of the buildings in October 2022. The expansion is intended boost the company’s manufacturing capacity on the US west coast. Commenting on the news, Ruiz Food Products chief op-

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"This expansion will further elevate our customer service levels, building upon the Vernon Team’s track record as a dependable partner committed to our core values of innovation, safety, quality, teamwork, integrity and respect", Ms Carroll added. Ruiz Foods, which markets brands such as El Monterey and Tornados, has a workforce of 4,500 across five facilities. By: Innovation Editor – North America Source: Mid Valley Times Image source: Ruiz Foods

Retail Roundup USA

KROGER LAUNCHES HISPANIC-INSPIRED MERCADO BRAND Kroger, the leading US grocery retailer, has announced the launch of Mercado, a Hispanic-inspired brand offering more than 50 products sold exclusively in the Kroger family of stores. The new lineup will include queso fresco, Oaxaca cheese balls, ready-to-cook flour tortillas, pre-cooked white corn meal, chorizo ground sausage, thin-sliced beef strip steak, aqua fresca and chicharrones pork crackling strips. Commenting on the brand launch, Kroger vice president Juan De Paoli said: "Kroger® Mercado embraces Hispanic culinary heritage with the quality and innovation our customers have come to know and expect from Our Brands". "We are thrilled to offer authentic products that are accessible and exceptional in quality, creating a brand that fills a void for some customers and creates a cultural experience for others. Kroger® Mercado is Fresh for Everyone", he added. Source / image source: Kroger


JERONIMO MARTINS PLANS FURTHER EXPANSION OF ARA RETAIL CHAIN Jeronimo Martins, the Portuguese retail chain, has announced the further expansion of its Ara banner in Colombia, with its network of stores projected to reach 1,300 by the end of 2023, up from fewer than 1,100 the year before. Staff headcount is set to increase to 14,500, with the company also expecting to operate 17 distribution centres by the end of the year. A decade ago, Jeronimo Martins operated just 21 stores in Colombia. "The Ara format is very well received in every region and town", the company said in a statement, noting that traditional retail formats such as local stores continue to lead the market in the country. The retailer is reportedly aiming to grow its Ara network further to reach 3-4,000 stores in the next ten years, with some operating on a franchise basis. Source: Expresso

Image source: Jeronimo Martins


MONOPRIX TO OPEN FIRST STORE IN THE COUNTRY French retailer Casino Group has announced the opening of a new store in Belgium under the convenience store banner Monoprix, its first in the country. According to sources, the new store will be located in the centre of Waterloo, where Transversale – the firm’s master franchisee – has already collected a permit from local authorities to open the business. The new store is planned to operate in a 3,285 sq m location, where an AS Adventure store was previously located. It will feature a range of food, textiles, decoration, beauty products, with a focus on quality and fresh products. The group plans to invest €700 million ($763 million) in Monoprix by 2028. In France, the store’s current network extends to 600 stores, with a combined revenue of over €5 billion ($5.4 billion). Source: ESM / Monoprix Image source: Monoprix Gama Information Services Ltd.

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"Our investment in the new factory is anchored in our purpose to meet the needs of consumers and our customers". "Emerging markets contribute 59% to Unilever’s global turnover and the Philippines remains an important market and growth driver for the company". Unlike other multinationals who are chiefly reliant on imports, 90% of what Unilever sells in the Philippines is manufactured locally, the company added.

Unilever, the multinational consumer goods giant, has opened a new €80 million ($78.4 million) factory in the Philippines to increase production of its personal care ranges in the country by 15%. Located in the province of Cavite, the factory will manufacture Sunsilk and Creamsilk haircare products, as well as deodorant ranges from Rexona and Dove. Commenting on the new facility, Unilever Philippines chairman and CEO Benjie Yap said:

"Working with local suppliers in this way is not only good for shortening Unilever’s supply chains, it also reduces emissions and invigorates the local supplier base", it said. By: Innovation Editor – Asia Pacific Source / image source: Unilever


PepsiCo, the global snacks giant, has announced plans to expand its manufacturing operation in Cabo de Santo Agostinho, north-eastern Brazil, with a new production line, creating over 300 jobs. The new line will boost production capacity by 30% and allow the manufacture of products under the Torcida brand, as well as for the Cheetos, Cebolitos and Fandangos brands. Commenting on the move, PepsiCo Brazil director of operations Marcelo Zanetti said: "The Northeast region is strategic for PepsiCo, which is why we have made continuous investments there. Proof of this is that our production capacity in the last four years has increased by more than 50%, including the implementation of the new Torcida line." Construction is underway and is scheduled to be completed by May 2024.


IN BRIEF O Kofola, a Czech-based non-alcoholic beverages company, has announced the acquisition of Pivovary CZ Group, a producer of traditional beer brands. Pivovary CZ Group is the fifth largest beer company in the Czech Republic. With the acquisition, Kofola said it planned to bolster its presence in beers with export potential. Source: Kofola Nourish You, the Indian "superfood" company, has announced the acquisition of dairy alternative specialist One Good for an undisclosed sum. Founded in 2016 under the name Good-


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mylk, One Good offers a variety of vegan dairy alternative products including milk, cheese, chocolate, curd, ghee and butter. Source: Economic Times / Media Brief Second Nature Brands, a US snack and confectionery brand owner, has announced the acquisition of nut and fruit snack mix maker Sahale Snacks from JM Smucker for a total consideration of $34 million. Sahale Snacks has net sales of $48 million and sell its products across the US and internationally under its namesake brand. Source: Second Nature Brands (via PR NewsWire)

GAMA SPOKE TO JOSEP ANTONI VALLS, DIRECTOR GENERAL, ALIMENTARIA What are your expectations for Alimentaria & Hostelco 2024?

ALIMENTARIA & HOSTELCO 2024 WHERE? Barcelona, Spain WHEN? 18th to 21th March 2024

The 2024 edition will be the most international to date. More than 900 out of the 3,200 exhibiting firms expected will be international, coming from more than 60 countries. The show also anticipates 25% international visitors (around 25,000) and more than 1,100 top-level international buyers from 80 countries.

" Sustainability, digital transformation and alternatives to traditional products will continue to shape food & drink Innovation "

In addition, and thanks to its alliance with Hostelco – the International Trade Show for Catering, Hospitality and Collectivities Equipment – Alimentaria will encompass the entire value chain and provide tailored solutions for each segment. To date, no other European event with international reach has succeeded in uniting such a comprehensive array of products and services for both Horeca sector and the distribution and retail value chains. We forecast the occupation of practically the entire Fira de Bar-

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celona Gran Via venue, which includes seven halls and covers 100,000 sq m. What key trends are set to shape food & drink innovation in 2024? Sustainability, digital transformation and alternatives to traditional products will continue to shape food & drink innovation next year. Far from diminishing, interest in sustainability is stronger than ever. Consumers are demanding sustainable products and a greater focus on the circular economy, reducing carbon footprint. The emergence of artificial intelligence and automation represents an opportunity for companies to optimise their operations, improve their forecasting, increase their efficiency and create new personalised experiences for their consumers. Finally, we will continue to see a rise in alternative protein and plant-based products that will coexist with traditional food and drink goods.

" The emergence of artificial intelligence and automation represents an opportunity for companies "

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IFE 2024 WHERE? London, UK WHEN? 25th to 27th March 2024

We’re so excited for the industry to experience IFE 2024. Alongside popular returning features such as the New Products Tasting Theatre and the StartUp Market, where buyers can taste and discover completely new products, we’ve also got loads of exciting new features, sections and partnerships.

" We expect consumers to continue seeking out natural ingredients and brands they perceive as authentic " To expand the show’s offering even further, we’ve partnered with the Fresh Produce Consortium to launch our new Fresh Produce Section and will be hosting Aramark’s Producer & New Supplier Showcase to allow brands taking part in the show to pitch their products to a panel of senior hospitality and foodservice buyers. Next year will also see even closer collaboration with our sister events, giving visitors access to everything from packaging and ingredients to professional kitchen equipment and innovative hospitality tech.


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What are consumers currently looking for from food & drink brands, and how do you expect this to evolve in 2024? We expect consumers to continue seeking out natural ingredients and brands they perceive as authentic, and this doesn’t necessarily exclude bigger or more mainstream names in food & drink. This comes hand-in-hand with growing consumer wariness of ultra-processed foods and a desire for clear labelling and recognisable ingredients. Transparency when it comes to how things are made is more important than ever, and IFE presents a great opportunity for suppliers to convey this sense of clarity as they meet face-to-face with buyers and build trust. We’ve also been seeing a rise in functional drinks with a few different consumer groups in mind, from high-end nootropic coffees to more youth-focused health and energy drinks (perhaps following on from the phenomenon of Prime), many of which you can check out in Drinks @ HRC & IFE.

" We’ve been seeing a rise in functional drinks with different consumer groups in mind "


Upcoming Events

WINTER FANCY FOOD SHOW 2024 WHAT? Hosted in the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Winter Fancy Food Show promises three days of sampling, networking and education, and the newest and best specialty food and beverages in more than 40 product categories. WHERE? Las Vegas, NA, USA WHEN? 21st to 23rd January 2024

ISM 2024 WHAT? The self-styled "international marketplace number one for the confectionery and snack industry" returns to its traditional end-of-January slot in 2024. Expect around 1,300 exhibitors from over 70 different countries. WHERE? Cologne, Germany WHEN? 28th to 31st January 2024

GULFOOD 2024 WHAT? Billed as the largest annual food and drink sourcing event in the world, Dubai opens its doors at the World Trade Centre in Dubai in February for five days of product discovery and partnership-building. WHERE? Dubai, UAE WHEN? 19th to 23rd February 2024

By: Innovation Editor – Latin America Source: Food Business News / JC Image source: PepsiCo


Nolet, the leading Dutch distiller, has announced an

agreement to buy its fellow spirits firm Lucas Bols in a deal worth approximately €269.5 million ($286.2 million). In a statement, the two companies said the deal would create "a Dutch champion in the global spirits and cocktail market", adding they see "a unique opportunity to bring two leading […] companies with a rich heritage under one Dutch flag". Lucas Bols will continue to be based in Amsterdam and to operate with its current name, leadership, route-to-market and other partnerships, the companies said.

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Commenting on the move, Nolet Group chair Carel Nolet said: "Nolet and Lucas Bols complement each other well in terms of markets, brands, innovation and marketing. For us, the combination with Lucas Bols is a valuable expansion with a strong portfolio of well-known brands". By: Innovation Editor – Europe Source / image source: Nolet


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pharmaceutical firm, has announced plans to invest ¥48 billion ($339 million) in the construction of a new dairy plant in Nakashibetsu, Hokkaido. According to Meiji, the new facility will have an initial production capacity of 430,000 tons of raw milk annually, with the potential to reach 500,000 tons over time. The new 230,000 sq m plant will ultimately replace existing plants in Honbetsu and Nishi Shunbetsu.

The Nishi Shunbetsu facility produces non-fat dry milk, concentrated skimmed milk, butter, and cream. Honbetsu makes concentrated skimmed milk and cream. In addition to these products, the Nakashibetsu plant will make milk protein. Meiji said its aim was to establish a plant that maximised automation and improved productivity. The company also plans to expand demand for its products, including by obtaining halal certification to promote exports. Construction is expected to begin in April 2024 and the plant is projected to be operational by March 2027. Closure of the Nishi Shunbetsu and Honbetsu facilities is planned for 2027. By: Innovation Editor – Asia Pacific Source: FoodBev / Meiji Image source: Meiji



USA: POST HOLDINGS TO CLOSE OHIO CEREAL PLANT Netherlands-based commodities firm Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) and Polish private label coffee manufacturer Instanta have announced the opening of a new plant in Binh Duong province, Vietnam, for the manufacture of freezedried coffee.

The joint venture facility, which will have an annual production capacity of 5,600 tonnes, was established to meet rising global demand for instant coffee, particularly more premium freeze-dried coffee. The facility’s product offering is tailored to meet the preferences of consumers across established markets such as Europe, as well as emerging markets in Asia, LDC said in a statement. This venture with Instanta supports our global strategy to diversify through more value-added products, reflects our ongoing commitment to Vietnam as a key market for LDC, and complements our existing global Robusta green coffee business, expanding our product portfolio to meet customers’ needs", commented LDC Global Head of Coffee Ben Clarkson. "ILD Coffee Vietnam marks a significant milestone in our journey at Instanta", added said Instanta chairman Jacek Szymczyk. "[…] We are excited to bring our expertise to this strategic joint venture with LDC, a renowned global merchant and processor of agricultural goods". By: Innovation Editor – Europe Source: LDC Image source: LDC / Instanta (montage)

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Breakfast cereal maker Post Holdings has announced plans to close a manufacturing facility located in Lancaster, in the US state of Ohio, to reduce manufacturing capacity. The Lancaster plant was acquired by Post Holdings in June 2021 as part of the company’s wider acquisition of TreeHouse Foods’ breakfast cereal business. Production will move to the company’s other manufacturing sites.

Commenting on the move, Post Consumer Brands president and CEO Nicolas Catoggio said: "We are continuously optimizing our network so that we can best serve our customers and consumers. This facility closure enables Post Consumer Brands to continue offering a diversified portfolio of great products at a great value". By: Innovation Editor – North America Source / image source: Post Holdings


Haigh’s Chocolates, an Australian confectionery company, has announced an investment of A$130 million ($87 million) to develop a manufacturing facility in Salisbury South, Adelaide. The project, which will span an area of 36,000 sq m, will accommodate 9,000 sq m for production facilities and a further 6,000 sq m for warehousing.

A$36 million ($24 million) from the overall investment will be utilized for the purchase of manufacturing equipment sourced from Europe. Commenting on the move, Haigh’s Chocolates chief executive Alister Haigh said: “This project represents a significant milestone for Haigh’s, as it will see our current chocolate production capacity double, allowing us to meet increased demand and interstate growth opportunities, including entering new markets”. Peter Millard chief operating officer of Haigh’s Chocolates said: “Not only will this project directly create new jobs and opportunities at this site, it will facilitate employment growth across our retail business Australia-wide creating up to 250 new jobs in the medium and long term”. Founded in 1915 in Adelaide, Haigh’s Chocolates is a family -owned chocolate maker, employing 800 people across two existing sites and 21 retail stores around Australia. The plant is projected to be operational in the second half of 2025. By: Innovation Editor – Asia Pacific Source / image source: Haigh's Chocolates


Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB), the Indian CocaCola subsidiary, has announced an investment of 3,000 crore INR ($368 million) to set up a new plant in Rajkot, in India’s Gujarat state, to manufacture juice and aerated beverages. “The investment is expected to create a considerable industrial footprint, fostering substantial economic and social growth in the region”, HCCB said in a statement. “The Government of Gujarat, in turn, has assured comprehensive support to facilitate HCCB in obtaining all necessary permissions, registrations, approvals, and clearances, in a time-bound manner”. The announcement follows news that HCCB is also planning to open a $166 million bottling plant in Maharashtra. Commenting on the move, HCCB chief public affairs, communications, and sustainability officer Himanshu Priyadarshi said: “It is not only about scaling our business operations but also about deepening our roots in a state that has been a key market and a source of inspiration for innovation. We foresee this project as a catalyst for regional development, bringing in new opportunities for local talent and reinforcing our commitment to Gujarat’s economic and social progress”.

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The plant is expected to begin operations in 2026 and bring total headcount in the state to over 1,500.

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By: Innovation Editor – Asia Pacific Source: NDTV / Indian Retailer

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