UK manufacturer enters Australian and NZ markets by license of Unilever sauce brands

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 6th May 2013

A leading UK convenience food manufacturer, Symington’s Ltd (Symington’s) has reached an agreement to license Unilever’s wet sauces portfolio in Australia and New Zealand.

Symington’s will take on three brands from Unilever: Chicken Tonight, Raguletto and Five Brothers. Under the terms of the deal, the three brands will continue to be produced at Unilever’s factory in Tatura, Victoria.

“Symington’s is delighted to have this opportunity to invest in and reintroduce Australian consumers to these well-known brands,” said Henrik Pade, Symington’s Director of Business Development. “There are many similarities between the Australian and UK markets, and we will be drawing on our successful experience nurturing brands and developing the wet sauces category in the UK to surprise and delight our retail customers and the consumers in Australia,” he said.

The deal represents Symington’s first major international venture, and the Company said it will allow the Company to “build on its successful UK track record or utilising new product innovation and marketing initiatives to reinvigorate the brands”.

Following Symington’s license and subsequent acquisition of Chicken Tonight and Ragu from Unilever UK in August 2011, Symington’s said the brands have grown an average 15 per cent per year, and contributed to the growth of the ambient sauces category, which is currently worth around £540m in the UK.

Symington’s is establishing an office in Melbourne to oversee the Australian wet sauces portfolio and grow its convenience foods business, both branded and private label, in Australia.

Unilever brands "reinvigorated" by Symington's in Australia