Nutella and Tic Tac producer Ferrero will reportedly complete the acquisition of Delacre from United Biscuits by mid-December this year, according to Reuters.
ConfectioneryNews has contacted both Ferrero and Delacre for a comment, but has not received a response. Ferrero told Reuters earlier that the relevant worker council consultations have been completed and the offer is now subject to a competition review.
Delacre is owned by Yildiz Holding, which recently combined its core confectionery and bakery businesses, including Godiva, to form a new global company called Pladis.
Euromonitor International believes that Ferrero’s bid to acquire Belgian biscuits brand Delacre is an attempt to “decrease its overreliance on chocolate which is now facing a number of challenges both from supply and demand sides,” and “crack open the North American market which to date still remains the world’s uncontested leader in snacks”.
Delacre aids Ferrero’s store-based expansion
While Ferrero’s sales have suffered from Western Europe, as the price gap between premium mass players and store-based premium players is narrowing in this market, Delacre is a “relatively safer bet,” Euromonitor’s senior food analyst, Pinar Hosafci, commented.
“[Delacre] specializes in premium biscuits which has obvious synergies with chocolate and complements Ferrero’s image as a premium player,” Hosafci said. “Delacre also has a store in Belgium aiding Ferrero’s goal of store-based expansion as seen both by the take-over of store-based Thorntons and the growing number of Nutella cafés which are popping up very quickly in the Middle Eastern markets.”
According to IRI’s most recent data for the last 52 weeks ending on Oct. 2, 2016, Ferrero USA's retail sales is currently worth $209m for the overall chocolate candy category, which is valued at $13.6bn. The company’s dollar sales grow at 12.2% year-over-year.