Vandemoortele builds presence in frozen bakery
Panavi, expanding further its presence in the European frozen
bakery products market.
The Belgian company has said that with the takeover of Panavi, the French market leader in frozen bakery products, it is "ranking itself among the European top in the sector of frozen bakery products." Jean Vandemoortele, president of the executive committee of the Vandemoortele Group, said: "The European market for frozen bakery products sees a growth of five to ten percent each year….after the take-over of Panavi, Vandemoortele, with its extensive and unique product range, 34 factories and 3,800 employees, will rank itself among the key players in Europe". He added that the takeover of the Panavi Group was a "crucial step" in Vandemoortele's strategy to "further expand" its activities in frozen bakery products and strengthen its position in France, which, according to the company, is the largest market for frozen bread, breakfast pastries and pastry in Europe. Vandemoortele produces and distributes a broad range of frozen bread, American products (donuts, muffins, cookies and brownies), viennoiserie and pastries and has 11 production units in six European countries, including four in France. The Panavi acquisition is subject to the approval of French regulatory authorities. Other acquisitions Vandemoortlele has been actively investing in the frozen bakery businesses over the past few years. In 2006 the company announced that it had taken over Erkens Bakkerijen, a subsidiary of bakery products manufacturer Kamps Nederland BV, which produced and sold frozen patisserie products in Germany, the UK, Spain and Benelux. One of the company's divisional managers said at the time "Erkens will strengthen our patisseries appeal towards the rapidly expanding food service and retail channels in Germany and other European countries." In August 2007 Vendemoortele announced the takeover Gourmand Poland, the Polish frozen bakery business of the Group Dossche. On this occasion Vendemoortele said "Gourmand Poland offers the Vandemoortele Group accelerated access to the Polish market…After the Czech Republic where Vandemoortele is already a prominent player, Poland will be the second country in Central Europe where we can to strength our market position in frozen bakery products." The company said that the acquisition confirmed its ambition to further invest in growth frozen bakery activities as well as the Central and Eastern Europe region. In November 2007 the group announced it was to invest over €25m in the construction of an additional plant in Arras, France, that would produce frozen and par-baked quality bread. The exiting plant, producing 20,000 tonnes of frozen bread a year, would continue to develop its growth on existing markets. "We have decided to make a significant investment in Arras because of its prime location to supply the Western European market with bread", a spokesperson said. Frozen Food Trends The British Frozen Food Federation reported in April this year that the retail frozen food market continued to grow and for the eighth quarter in a row year on year value growth had accelerated. In the past year the market had gained £190m in value and with regard to bakery products, pizzas had grown in value by £15m. The retail category 'frozen savoury food', which included amongst other products frozen bread and savoury bakery, it had grown 4.7 per cent in value from the end of March 07 to March 08.