Fazer has acquired Vuohelan Herkku, a Finland-based producer of gluten-free bakery products, for an undisclosed figure.
Vuohelan Herkku is one of the pioneers of gluten-free baking in Finland, and produces products such as gluten-free breads, cakes, flour and more
In 2018, the company opened a new bakery in Lahti, Finland, which exclusively produces gluten-free products. The bakery is located in close proximity to Fazer’s existing production operations, enabling efficient access to the company’s national distribution network.
Fazer claims that broadening its gluten-free product portfolio is part of its consumer-centric strategy, as the growth of gluten-free products is increasing steadily in the Finnish market.
Gluten-free products represent approximately 3% of the total bakery market in Finland, but the market is expected to grow significantly in the future. Around one-in-ten Finnish consumers suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and 2% of the Finnish population is affected by celiac disease. A gluten-free diet is recommended for those suffering for these conditions as a way of relieving their stomach symptoms.
A statement from the company asserts that the group is now ‘the market leader’ for gluten-free bakery products in Finland.
Christoph Vitzthum, president and CEO, Fazer Group said: “Acquiring Vuohelan Herkku strengthens Fazer’s position as the leading bakery in Finland. Through the acquisition, Fazer becomes the market leader also in gluten-free bakery products.
“We will renew Vuohelan Herkku’s product portfolio and integrate it into Fazer’s gluten-free assortment. The acquisition of Vuohelan Herkku is a natural move for us when executing our strategy.
“We will become a very strong player in the growing gluten-free market when we exploit Fazer’s strong brand and combine Fazer’s and Vuohelan Herkku’s know-how.”
Pirkko Hämäläinen, managing director of Vuohelan Herkku added: ”I’m pleased that my life’s work as an innovator of gluten-free products continues. Along with the acquisition, the business will develop further, and more gluten-free options will become available in the market.
“For us at Vuohelan Herkku, it is important that we share the same values with Fazer. High-quality and domestic origin are highly significant to both of us.”
The acquisition follows the news that Fazer will close its production site in Kaarina, Finland, in a move to increase efficiency in the production of its Yosa oat products.
Fazer plans to move the plant’s operations to its facility in Koria, Finland.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019