Bahlsen, the German biscuit and snack maker, is to reorganise its own-label operations and set up a centralised unit, Bisquiva.

The privately-owned group, which sells biscuits under the Bahlsen and Leibniz-Keks brands, also supplies retailers throughout Europe with private-label lines.

Ralf van Deest, the leader of Bahlsen's current private-label operations, will become chief executive of the new Bisquiva unit.

Van Deest told just-food today (16 December) that the economic downturn had not been a factor in Bahlsen's move.

"The decision was not influenced by the economic crisis. We want to be clear to our clients that Bahlsen is the branded business and Bisquiva is for private label. We want to reduce the complexity in our business," van Deest said.

The Bahlsen executive said the group supplies own-label products to "Europe's top 30 retailers", with overseas markets making up 40% of the company's private-label sales.