Heinz and Unilever to exit frozen foods
Both Heinz and Unilever have announced preliminary plans to divest their frozen food businesses.
Unilever said it was undertaking a study into ‘strategic options’ for the future of its frozen foods business in western Europe. This encompasses the main brands – Iglo, Findus and BirdsEye – and will cover the 11 countries in Europe where Unilever is active.
Heinz, meanwhile, has decided to focus on three categories where it has unique strengths – ketchup, condiments and sauces; meals and snacks; and infant nutrition. The company said it is the ‘category champion’ in these businesses by virtue of its detailed knowledge of consumer preferences, its distribution and channel expertise, its operational capabilities with leading-edge tomato technologies, and the strength of its brands.
The sale of non-core businesses, representing around $1.4 billion of annual sales, would include the European seafood, vegetable and frozen businesses (including Petit Navire, John West and HAK brands).