Global branded food giant Kraft Foods announced today that its international business has acquired privately-held Australian biscuit producer Lanes Food Group, allowing Kraft to gain control of key Nabisco brands which were first licensed to Lanes in 1991.

The acquisition brings Kraft a strong presence in the Australian biscuit market with such well known global Nabisco brands as Ritz and Premium crackers and Chips Ahoy! cookies. Lanes also produces other local favorites such as in-a-biskit crackers. Lanes had 2001 sales of approximately US$50m. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Kraft currently markets leading brands in Australia including Vegemite yeast spread, a national icon, as well as Kraft Singles, Philadelphia cream cheese, Kraft peanut butter, Toblerone chocolates, and Maxwell House coffee.

Hugh Roberts, Group VP, Kraft Foods, and President, Asia Pacific Region, commented: “Biscuits are a core global category for Kraft, so we are pleased to further expand our strong Australian business with this significant biscuit acquisition.

“We look forward to growing our outstanding Nabisco brands in this market.”