Nestlé is considering selecting a new partner to manufacture its frozen ready meal brand Lean Cuisine in Australia.
The announcement comes as Simplot Australia revealed it will not renew its licence agreement to manufacture and market Lean Cuisine from November 2019.
Simplot has manufactured the brand under licence since 2009. The decision is part of a broader review which will see Simplot Australia exit the frozen meals category to concentrate on its core capabilities in potatoes, vegetable, seafood, pasta and sauces.
The Australian food manufacturer is also considering shutting its Pakenham, Melbourne, facility as a result of the move.
Simplot Australia managing director Graham Dugdale said: “To ensure customers and consumers experience a smooth transition, we are developing plans to consolidate other Simplot products currently produced at Pakenham into the wider Simplot network.
“We do not envisage any impact to our current supply and trading relationships.”
Lean Cuisine’s line of products includes frozen chilli con carne with rice, beef lasagne and Indian-style butter chicken with rice.
Nestlé said it will work closely with Simplot to ensure consumers and customers experience a smooth and seamless transition “to continue Lean Cuisine’s successful journey to provide solutions for healthy living”.
Earlier this year Nestlé announced the sale of its Violet Crumble brand to Australian confectionery producer Robern Menz.
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