UK group Premier Foods plc is to directly sell its Mr Kipling and Cadbury cakes into New Zealand for the first time.

The products will be sold in Progressive Enterprises’ 184 Countdown supermarkets, which serve 2.5m customers a week. 

Progressive Enterprises is owned by Australian giant Woolworths. Countdown is the largest supermarket chain in New Zealand by number of stores.

Premier said the expandion supports its “strategic priority” of “strong double-digit sales growth” from its international business.

The first shipment to New Zealand of Mr Kipling and Cadbury products has landed and includes a range of Christmas cake lines, including the Mr Kipling Festive Bakewell, Christmas Slices and Elf Slices, as well as the Cadbury Festive Flake cake and Chocolate Yule Log.

A number of “all-year round” cakes will also be available, including Cadbury chocolate mini rolls, raspberry mini rolls, Caramel cake bars and Chocolate cake bars.

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By GlobalData

Jette Andersen, the managing director of Premier’s international business, said: “This is yet another exciting step in our international strategy. It follows close on the heels of a successful export strategy into the Australian market, which in the last year alone has seen our market share for Mr Kipling and Cadbury triple from 1.8% to 5.7%.”

Premier holds the international licence to Cadbury-branded cakes in 46 countries following the renewal of its contract with Mondelez International earlier this year.

The UK business has struggled to get its sales growing domestically but has seen its smaller non-UK operations expand after CEO Gavin Darby made international growth a priority for the business.

In the year to 1 April, Premier’s international sales increased 18%, or by 11% on a constant-currency basis.

In the first quarter of Premier’s current financial year, which comprised the 13 weeks to 1 July, the company’s international sales rose 20% year-on-year. The group said the result marked the “eleventh successive quarter of growth” from that side of its business.