SOUTH AFRICA – RFG Holding, South Africa-based producer of fresh, frozen and long-life convenience meal solutions, has entered into an agreement with Pioneer Foods Wellingtons, to purchase its frozen foods business as a going concern, save for any operations in Botswana and Eswatini.

According to the leading manufacturer of canned fruit, jams and canned meat, the business in question comprises of a wide product range to include: frozen pies, pastry, sausage rolls, pizza and party packs, under the well-established brands such as, Today, Mama’s, Big Jack and Man’s Meal.

Manufacturing of the products is conducted from a facility in Atlantis in the Western Cape and are distributed nationally.

The business commands a strong presence in the frozen pies and pastry segment, servicing mostly the South African top end retail market.

“The acquisition has the potential to generate good synergies for the company while also diversifying our offering into the retail channel.”

CEO RFG Holdings – Bruce Henderson

CEO RFG Bruce Henderson said the acquisition is aligned with the company’s strategy of expansion through value accretive acquisitions.

“The frozen pie and snack category in the top end retail market complements RFG’s growing pies and pastries business.

“The acquisition has the potential to generate good synergies for the company while also diversifying our offering into the retail channel,” he said.

Without disclosing the amount, RFG has indicated that the transaction is subject to approval by the Competition Commission and the effective date is expected to be 1 January 2022.

The frozen food industry has seen steady growth since COVID-19 began, as people gravitate towards foods with longer shelf lives prompted by decreased grocery store visits, rise in home cooking and preparing for potential food shortages.

Sales in the category have rocketed up by double-digit percentages since the pandemic hit, with Allied Market Research, estimating that the global frozen food market is expected to reach US$404.8 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 4.2% from US$291.8 billion in 2019.

Cashing in on the growing demand, Swiss food manufacturing giant Nestlé, is investing US$100 million to expand its frozen foods factory in Gaffney, South Carolina.

Expected to create about 160 new jobs, the planned project will entail the addition of a new production line, as well as the expansion of the existing one.

The investment comes six months after Nestlé announced a US$100 million expansion of its frozen food plant in Jonesboro, Arkansas, in particular for the production of its Hot Pockets brand sandwiches.

A recent survey commissioned by the manufacturing giant revealed that over one-third of consumers, and 49% of millennials, in particular, said they are likely to bring a frozen meal to work for lunch.

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