Sector News

Sausage ruling: top savoury snack makers set to merge

April 22, 2015
Food & Drink
Two of Britain’s biggest pork pie and sausage roll suppliers are hopeful they will be free to earn their crust together after the competition authorities provisionally cleared their merger.
 
Pork Farms looks likely to get the final go-ahead to take a bigger slice of the UK’s £1bn chilled savoury pastry market after the interim report on its acquisition of the chilled savoury pastries division of Kerry Foods.
 
As both supply supermarkets with own-label snacks, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been chewing over the meaty merger since the start of the year for fear it could push up the prices of pies, pasties and slices.
 
However, the watchdog’s four cold savoury pastry investigators provisionally concluded on Tuesday that the merged bakers did not make all the pies and there were enough other suppliers to keep prices down.
 
The merger was not expected to substantially cut competition, the CMA said.
 
John Wotton, the chair of CMA’s group investigating the merger, said: “We have provisionally concluded that the merger will not give the parties an opportunity to raise prices or reduce quality. The evidence we heard indicated that the merger would not significantly affect customers’ ability to negotiate for the best deal for these products.”
 
He suggested other players in the pork pie market were agile enough to fill any supply gaps.
 
“If necessary, customers such as retailers and wholesalers could switch to available alternative suppliers and we found that there was sufficient capacity, either currently available or which could be quickly brought into play, to allow customers to switch suppliers.”
 
Pork Farms, which makes its own branded pies as well as snacks for retailers such as Asda and Sainsbury’s, said it was waiting for the final competition ruling to be served. A decision is due by 21 June.
 
Chris Peters, the managing director of Pork Farms, said: “We are very pleased with the CMA’s provisional conclusion that the merger has not resulted, and may not be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition.
 
“However, we are aware these findings are currently provisional and that we are still subject to the interim order, which requires us to continue to hold the acquired businesses separate.”
 
By Katie Allen
 
Source: The Guardian

comments closed

Related News

February 4, 2023

Unilever names FrieslandCampina’s Hein Schumacher as next CEO

Food & Drink

Schumacher will replace Alan Jope, who announced his decision to retire last September, less than a year after a failed attempt by Unilever to buy GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer healthcare business and just months after activist investor Nelson Peltz joined the company’s board.

February 4, 2023

Tetra Pak execs flag plant-based ice cream development hurdles as indulgent offerings expand

Food & Drink

Globally, plant-based ice creams have doubled their share of the market over the last five years, according to Tetra Pack. Pea protein and coconut milk are leading the way, but Tetra Pak cites data showing that oat-based ice cream launches have doubled in the previous year.

February 4, 2023

Examining the meaning of eco-labels: Is it time for mandated methodology?

Food & Drink

A myriad of so-called eco-labels are being rolled out across various F&B products, but with no gold standard or strict rules governing precisely what the logos mean and what methodology is behind them, concerns are growing that they will confuse consumers and ultimately be counterproductive.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach