Zeelandia UK acquires bakery fillings specialist James Fleming & Co.

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Among its portfolio of fillings, Flemings manufactures mincemeat used in traditional mince pies that are so loved at this time of the year. Pic: Zeelandia
Among its portfolio of fillings, Flemings manufactures mincemeat used in traditional mince pies that are so loved at this time of the year. Pic: Zeelandia

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Royal Dutch Zeelandia (Koninklijke Zeelandia Groep b.v.) has purchased mincemeat and fillings producer James Fleming & Co. from Südzucker Group.

The takeover comes into effect on January 1, 2017, when Flemings will fall under the ambit of Zeelandia UK. Neither company will disclose information regarding the cost of the acquisition.

According to the Dutch bakery ingredients manufacturer, the acquisition is part of its strategy to further strengthen its position as a leading contender in the European bakery ingredients market.

The UK division will also benefit from an extended range of capabilities, as well as the UK customer base that Flemings will bring on board.

Hard won values

David Amos, MD of Zeelandia UK, told BakeryAndSnacks that Flemings has a long-standing tradition for quality products and expertise in meeting the needs of industrial bakeries with fruit fillings and jams.

“These traditions and standards will prove just as valuable once they are integrated into Zeelandia. As a family company with heritage dating back to the year 1900, we share many of the same values,”​ he said.

Too soon to speculate

Amos added that it’s still too early to note the results of Brexit on the market going forward.

“There’s no value in speculating. Until Article 50 is filed and negotiations finalised, it’s too premature to see what effect Brexit will have. We’ll obviously deal with the consequences as and if they arise,”​ he said.

Founded in 1900 by H.J. Doeleman specifically to produce rusk jelly for local bakers in the Dutch coastal province of Zeeland, the corporation today boasts a portfolio that covers thousands of products developed for the professional bread and confectionery trade worldwide.

A fruitful future

Zeelandia Group CEO, Michiel de Ruiter, told us the demand for fruit products and fillings continues to be on the rise.

This is aligned with research results reported by Transparency Market Research (TMR) indicating that bakery filling is segmented on the basis of type, mainly fruit-based fillings, nuts and seeds based fillings, and cream based fillings.

Among these types, TMR claimed fruit-based and cream-based fillings are consumed more, compared to nut and seed-based fillings.

Extending its fruit-filling footprint

“We already have two production facilities for fruit products, in Belgium and in Czechia. Flemings will be the third production location where Zeelandia manufactures fruit products,”​ said De Ruiter.

Established more than a century ago in Edinburgh, Flemings specializes in sugar-based speciality products, particularly fillings like mincemeat, jams, jellies and curds.

“This acquisition is an excellent fit for Zeelandia UK and we’re confident that they will further develop the business, going forward, for the benefit for all those involved,”​ said Ross Ferguson, MD of Südzucker UK and Flemings.

He added that Südzucker UK will now focus on the sales and distribution of sugar, fondants and speciality icings.

Zeelandia UK will continue to operate from its site in Billericay and Flemings from its facilities in Ashton-in-Makerfield.

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