FINLAND – Finland-based food processor, Fazer Group has agreed to acquire Kaslink Foods, a family-owned company specialized in premium Scandinavian food products.

Kaslink whose portfolio includes cooking products, drinks and snacks also makes nutritionally rich and sustainable oats.

According to Fazer, the acquisition accelerates its transformation into a modern sustainable food company with a joint direction even as it continues executing its growth strategy in the Nordic region.

The company has identified plant-based products and solutions as its strategic growth areas, with a focus on the Northern European market.

The growth is built on a group-wide consumer centric approach and innovations and close customer cooperation across its businesses to drive organic growth through mergers and acquisitions.

“We have created a unique basis for the oat business, a proof of which is that the nearly 130-year-old Fazer wants to embrace the Kaslink Aito product family created by us, the Kukkonen family, and our story that already has such a great beginning,” said Juha-Petteri Kukkonen, Chief Creative Officer and one of the three brothers who own Kaslink.

As a result of the transaction, Kaslink will become part of Fazer Lifestyle Foods business area which focuses on non-dairy grain products, plant-based meals and on-the-go snacking.

The oats category is attributed to the growing demand for well-being, sustainability health as well as sustainable lifestyles among consumers.

This trend is one of the most important factors driving the non-dairy products market, which is growing at a yearly rate of over 17% in Western Europe.

Fazer says it sees great growth opportunities in oats and, during the past few years, the company has invested 30 million euros (US$33.8 million) in its milling business in Finland and Sweden.

In January 2019 Fazer announced that it is investing 40 million euros (US$45 million) in an oat hull-based xylitol manufacturing facility in Finland.

“We are excited to announce this acquisition as it would be a perfect match for Fazer in executing our strategy,” said Christoph Vitzthum, Fazer Group’s President and CEO.

“Kaslink is an innovative actor with strong commercial insights, modern production facility and proficiency in production based on technological know-how.

“These create a highly competitive foundation for selling, marketing and producing sustainable oat-based products on an international scale.”