The plant, known as the Poppintree facility, was custom built in 1995 and has been the subject of significant investment in cooking processes that complement the Kepak Group’s value-added business interests.
The investment, according to a press release, reflects the continued growth of the Kepak Group and is its fourth acquisition this year following the joint venture investment in Greene Farm Fine Foods in Westmeath, and the acquisitions of Country Park Foods (CPF), Huddersfield and Kepak Clare.
As well as increasing Kepak’s capability in added-value cooked product for"‘Food To Go" Foodservice, the acquisition will also facilitate the continued growth of its own consumer branded Rustlers products. Rustlers is one of the largest Irish owned food brands with a significant presence in the U.K., where it is now in the top 120 brands across fast moving consumer goods, and in Europe where it has a strong and growing presence in Germany, Belgium and Holland, according to the press release. The Poppintree facility also adds another innovation base to assist Kepak’s expansion plans.
John Horgan, Managing Director, Kepak Group said: "Meeting the challenge of changing consumer tastes, increasingly competitive markets and the potential disruption from Brexit, requires an approach that plays to our strengths and invests strategically in acquisitions which deepen our offering, especially in the new markets we are developing. As an Irish company and one of Europe’s leading food innovators, engaged in processing and marketing a full range of meat proteins in varied formats and presentations, the addition of Poppintree to the Kepak family of facilities further enhances our capability in added value cooked products.”
The facility is also the home of the Walsh Family Foods Spice Burger which the company says has a very loyal customer base, particularly in the greater Dublin area. The site will be renamed Kepak Poppintree, and there are plans to re-energize the marketing of the iconic Spice Burger. There are about 35 employees at the plant, and there will be no negative impact on staff numbers at the plant.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed by Kepak.
Moy Park was acquired by Pilgrim's in September 2017.