Kerry Group sells US$952m meats and meals business to Pilgrims Pride

IRELAND – Kerry Group, an Irish food company, has sold its Kerry Consumer Foods’ Meats and Meals business valued at US$952 million to American multi-national food company Pilgrims Pride.

Kerry Meats is a leading manufacturer of branded and private label meats, meat snacks and food-to-go products in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Its sister, Kerry Meals is a leader in the ethnic chilled and frozen ready meals business in the United Kingdom.

The combined businesses produced over £725 million (US$864 million) in annual sales during the year ended December 31, 2020, and have more than 4,500 team members.

Pilgrim’s is already strongly positioned within the global protein market, and this complementary acquisition provides further breadth into the prepared and branded products segment

“Following the Acquisition, Pilgrim’s will be a leading food company, with a significant value-added protein and integrated prepared foods business anchored by a portfolio of strong brands,” Pilgrim said.

Pilgrim’s Chief Executive officer Fabio Sandri noted that inclusion of the Kerry Consumer Foods’ Meats and Meals business follows the company’s strategy of a “well-balanced portfolio of products, geographies and customer base.”

Pilgrim’s Pride investment in beefing up its prepared and branded products is timely as the market is projected to expand rapidly due to heightened demand from consumers.

According to Grand View Research, the global ready meals market size valued at US$159.15 billion in 2019 is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5% from 2020 to 2027.

Shifting consumers’ food preferences towards ready-to-eat food products owing to the busy lifestyle of working individuals as well as hectic work schedules of college grads and students is expected to be a key factor for the market growth.

Moreover, the growing demand for minimally processed and additive-free food products with an extended shelf life is expected to fuel market growth.

“We believe that the Acquisition will also enable the Company to develop new and innovative products through the businesses’ combined expertise to support our key customers’ growth objectives,” Sandri added.

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