Heinz has sold its German soups-to-stew brand Sonnen Bassermann to Struik Foods Europe for an undisclosed sum.

The US food giant said the sale of the brand is in line with its European strategy of accelerating growth in its core category of ketchup and sauces, where it is a branded leader. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Heinz acquired the Sonnen Bassermann brand in 1999 from Danone. Based in Germany, the brand's product line includes soups, stews and ready meals.

Heinz said it will retain ownership of the factory in Seesen, Germany that produces Sonnen Bassermann products. However, around 20 staff will be made redundant as a result of the sale. The company said local union officials and employees have been informed.

Heinz plans to manufacture plastic packaging products at the Seesen factory.

"We see strong growth potential for Heinz Ketchup in Germany, which is the third largest Ketchup market in Europe," said Roel van Neerbos, president of Heinz's business in Continental Europe.

He added Heinz expects the new owner to focus on developing the full potential of the Sonnen Bassermann brand.

In a statement, Struik said the acquisition adds another "household name" to its clutch of premium brands, which include Ye Olde Oak and Struik Berlin.

"I'm proud that now, having previously acquired Bekina soup factory in Beelitz (Brandenburg), we are now making further major inroads into the German market with this new acquisition. With this step, we can be very targeted in improving the positioning of our German operations and expanding them," said owner and president Hans Struik.