Queensland-based biscuit manufacturer Paradise Food Industries has acquired the majority of the biscuit range from UK-based George Weston Foods, enabling it to provide more Australian-made biscuit choices to consumers.
Paradise Foods is now Australia’s largest biscuit manufacturer.
The acquisition, announced in November last year, reverses the recent trend of numerous Australian products falling into foreign hands. It has increased Australian ownership of the biscuit market to 26 percent from 23 percent.
Paradise Foods’ share of the billion-dollar Australian biscuit market will rise to about 14 percent from 11 percent and the deal will inject an additional 200 direct jobs into the industry.
Paradise acquired all products in the Westons biscuit range excluding Wagon Wheels, Chocolate Wheaten and Quatro (which were sold to Arnotts in August 2003) and Ryvita and Crackerbread, which will continue to be sold by Westons.
Paradise Foods Marketing Manager Ms Kirsty Marshall said the company has streamlined the Westons range and will continue to offer favourites such as Jam Fancies, Strawberry Mallows, Cream Assorted, Family Assorted, Nice, Milk Coffee and Anzac Biscuits.
The company is also working with branding consultants to develop a fresh corporate identity and new packaging.
“It is our desire to really liven up the biscuit category through product innovation and an exciting new corporate identity,” Ms Marshall said.
“As part of this, we will offer only the finest and most popular biscuits in the Westons range. We are confident that the new products will enhance our presence in the market and boost our bottom line.”
Paradise Foods’ multi-million dollar expansion of its facilities at Carole Park in Queensland is on track for completion in May. The expansion will double the floor space and increase production capacity by more than 40 percent to over two and a half million kilos a month.
A total of 700 employees will work at the expanded facility. Ms Marshall said Paradise Foods is currently filling the 200 new jobs created as a result of the Westons acquisition.
“The acquisition has prompted us to review the structure of the company, in terms of both staff and facilities, to accommodate our increased volume of business,” Ms Marshall said.
Paradise plans to migrate the Westons biscuit range to the Paradise brand in 2005.
“The Westons products will be made to the same recipe and will be packaged in the identifiable Westons style for some time to come,” Ms Marshall said.
“Paradise is committed to revitalising the acquired products to meet our promise to provide quality biscuits that meet consumer needs and offer value for money.”
Ms Marshall said consumers will have greater opportunities to discover Paradise now that the acquisition is complete.
“Our range of biscuits has greatly expanded with the addition of the Westons products and that will benefit all Australian biscuit lovers,” she said.
Paradise Foods, a privately owned company, was established in 1985. The company manufactures the well-known Paradise branded range of Lites Cookies, Lites Crispbread, Cottage Cookies, Crackers and Kidz Cookies, and is a major supplier of generic brands and licenses the Dick Smith brand.
Paradise is the market leader in both the Cookies and Reduced Fat categories through its Lites and Cottage Cookies brands.
The full range, including the Westons products, will be manufactured in Carole Park and distributed nationally.