The American branded food products company H.J. Heinz Company has completed a transaction with Anchor Food Products Inc. to acquire Anchor's Poppers® retail frozen appetizers business and its licensing rights to the T.G.I. Friday's® brand of retail frozen snacks and appetizers.
The transaction is expected to accelerate the growth and strategic transformation of Heinz Frozen Food Company by adding two strong and fast-growing national brands with combined annual retail sales of over $150m. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Sales of the T.G.I. Friday's brand soared 100 per cent last year and Poppers posted an impressive 17 per cent growth over the same period.
Neil Harrison, president and chief executive officer of Heinz Frozen Food Company, stated: "In the United States, sales of retail frozen snacks and appetizers have risen an average of 15 per cent a year over the past five years, reflecting the rising popularity of hand-held snacks and appetizers. This transaction complements our Bagel Bites® and Hot Bites® brands and our recent acquisition of Delimex® and makes Heinz a leader in responding to the snacking trends of consumers with on-the-go lifestyles. It also continues our strategy to focus on double-digit growth categories."
The transaction was first announced on Aug. 22, 2001. As stated previously, a third party, McCain Foods Limited, had agreed to acquire Anchor's production facilities and its foodservice business. This transaction has also been completed.
Retail products marketed under the Poppers brand include cream cheese and cheddar cheese varieties of stuffed jalapenos, Mini-Poppers® in cheddar cheese, pepperoni pizza and broccoli and cheese varieties, and Specialty Poppers®. The T.G.I. Friday's brand includes mozzarella sticks, buffalo wings, potato skins and other frozen appetisers.
The transaction with Anchor closely follows Heinz 's Aug. 2 acquisition of Delimex Holdings, Inc., a leading maker of branded frozen Mexican snacks, from Fenway Partners, Inc. Delimex is an American producer of frozen taquitos, tightly-rolled fried corn tortillas filled with meat and/or cheese, as well as other Mexican and ethnic-inspired products.