Premier Foods has set its sights on global expansion in key markets such as China, the US and Australia.
The company is forming a new business unit while launching its iconic Ambrosia rice product in Asia. The creation of the Premier's international business marks a new phase in its operations and will have its own dedicated resources specifically targeting growing sales in regions such as China, North America and Australia.
In an interview with FoodManufacture.co.uk, Peter Ellis, head of international business, explained the importance of branching out into the Chinese market. As one of the fastest growing retail markets in the world, China represents a major opportunity for the company. A growing urban middle class in cities such as Shanghai, Premier believes that it represents the ideal market for it to work in.
To help push forward with these plans, Premier has teamed up with Swire Foods. The partnership, which was established over a year ago, allows Premier to use the resources available at the owner of several larger sugars firms in China. It also owns Cathay Pacific airlines providing a key distribution link between the UK and Asia.
Mr Ellis also highlighted the role of its Ambrosia product: "It [news of the launch] gets a bit of a giggle but we did a piece of research looking across the categories and Ambrosia rice researched incredibly well. The fact that it is a dairy-based product, that will be imported, is a good thing because the challenges they have had with the domestic dairy market in China."
Premier's decision to expand further into global markets comes after the company reported a 6.1 per cent drop in sales in its half-year results to June 30th. While its overall sales had fallen, there had been a 2.1 per cent increase in trading profit, rising to £48.1 million during the period.