Australian food group TasFoods has announced the sale of its Shima Wasabi spices unit to local fruit business Hillwood Berries.

In an announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), Tasmania-based TasFoods said keeping the unit, which it acquired in 2016, did not fit in with the “strategic roadmap” it implemented in 2020.

Hillwood Berries, a family-run business, is also based in Tasmania. It has paid AUD700,000 ($468,453) for Shima Wasabi.

TasFoods, which has a product portfolio based on dairy and meat, said: “The company has actively explored and assessed our strategic options, challenging every aspect of our business portfolio.”

It added: “The [Shima Wasabi] business unit is unable to scale at the appropriate level to justify being retained within the core TasFoods brand stable.

“It is our view that this divestment of Shima Wasabi to Hillwood Berries provides the brand with the best opportunity to achieve its full potential under new ownership while TasFoods remains focused on its core product portfolio.”

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By GlobalData

In May, at its AGM, TasFoods CEO Scott Hadley, who has led the business since October 2021, said the company had “reviewed and refreshed” its strategic plan.

He said measures taken included reducing the company’s number of brands and SKUs and increasing its e-commerce capabilities through the launch of new platform Boxolove.

Hadley also said the company had restructured its leadership team.

TasFoods bought Shima Wasabi in a cash-and-shares deal worth AUD2.8m seven years ago and said at the time said it saw a “strong platform for growth” for the business.

Shima Wasabi produces wasabi, Japanese pepper, turnip and parsley in Tasmania. The business produces wasabi stems and edible flowers for restaurants in Australia. It also supplies concentrated, freeze-dried wasabi powder for distribution in Australia, Asia and Europe.

TasFoods has grown through acquisition with its units including Meander Valley Dairy, Nichols Poultry and Betta Milk.

In full-year 2022, it recorded sales of AUD70.6m, an increase of 1.6% year-on-year.