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November 17, 2020

Oscar Mayer targets meat-free sales with purchase of UK ready-meals plant

UK private-label business Oscar Mayer is acquiring a new plant in north Wales to expand its product offering to retailers.

By Dean Best

Oscar Mayer Quality Foods has agreed to acquire a facility in north Wales from local peer David Wood Foods as the UK-headquartered private-label business seeks to increase its offering of plant-based meals.

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The company plans to redevelop the site in the town of Flint to “provide a future-proofed manufacturing solution that will enable us to increase our provision of meat-free meals in response to growing consumer demand”, CEO Francois LeGrain said in a statement provided to just-food.

Oscar Mayer produces ready-meals for UK retailers and operates out of three plants, one in Chard in Somerset, south-west England, another in Wrexham, Wales, which is run by its subsidiary Rowan Foods, and a third in Kent housing Ferndale Foods.

However, the company announced last month that it planned to close the Chard plant over the next year because demand for ready-meals had waned during the pandemic with people restricted to cooking at home. Around 860 workers are expected to lose their jobs as a result of the decision.

“As and when new vacancies arise at Flint we will invite existing Oscar Mayer employees from across the group to apply in the first instance,” LeGrain said.

The transaction price for the Flint plant has not been disclosed with the purchase expected to be completed by the end of November.

Some of the employees at the facility will be retained, and will start their introduction to Oscar Mayer at the nearby Rowan Foods’ factory in Wrexham while the Flint site closes for an upgrade “to suit the future technical requirements of our ready-meal production process”, LeGrain added.

While a spokesperson for Oscar Mayer was unable to confirm the number of workers employed at Flint, it was revealed 120 will be transferred over to the new owners.

David Wood Foods is also a private-label supplier to UK retailers with eight production sites across the country, including the one at Flint. The company produces ready-meals, bakery products, speciality breads, savoury pastries and desserts.

“Our ultimate intention is to redeploy Flint as a uniquely meat-free facility,” LeGrain said. “Although the Covid pandemic has changed consumer preferences with people having more time to cook from scratch at home, the meat-free alternative segment continues to enjoy significant growth and is strategically important to the Oscar Mayer group.”

Related Companies

Free Whitepaper
img

What is the impact of historically high inflation on the UK consumer landscape?

The average UK consumer is experiencing a severe cost-of living crisis as inflation surges to a forty-year high and the price of goods continues to rise. This shock is the result of the sharply increasing costs of commodities, energy, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and is threatening FMCG manufacturers, retailers, and foodservice operators’ ability to survive and grow. Inflation will have a profound effect on many consumer-facing industries in 2022 and beyond. Consult GlobalData’s new whitepaper, Inflation in the UK: The Impact of Historically High Inflation on the UK Consumer Landscape, to better understand shifts in consumer behavior and their impact on spending patterns, as well as the implications for UK businesses. This whitepaper covers:  
  • Why has global inflation returned with a vengeance?
  • What is the current inflation situation in the UK?
  • What impact is inflation having on UK retail sales?
  • What tactics are businesses relying on to tackle the effects of high inflation?
  • How are consumers changing their behaviors to cope with the higher cost of living?
  • Which industry sectors are most vulnerable to reduced consumer demand?
  • How is the government responding to high inflation?
  • How long will high inflation last in the UK?
  • How can your company survive and thrive in a high inflation environment?
Enter your details here to receive your free whitepaper and ready your business for these increasingly uncertain times.
by GD50 Custom
Enter your details here to receive your free Whitepaper.

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