Darrell Lea to be back on shelves in time for Christmas

Infamous Aussie confectionary brand, Darrell Lea, has overcome its financial issues from earlier this year, and the new owners have pledged to have the treats back on shelves in time for Christmas shopping.

In July Darrell Lea went into voluntary administration amid concerns surrounding the Lea family's ability to meet financial obligations.

In September, Darrell Lea was sold to Australia’s largest manufacturer of fresh chilled pet-food, the Queensland-based Quinn family for an undisclosed sum; though 400 part-time workers still lose their jobs.

Now Klark Quinn, one of the new owners, has told The Sydney Morning Herald that Darrell Lea products should be on sale in every major supermarket chain to buy for Christmas.

''Everyone wants Darrell Lea,'' he told the Herald.

Darrell Lea products will be in IGA stores by the end of October, thanks to a distribution deal struck by Quinn Foods.

Quinn confirmed the company is in negotiations with Coles, Woolworths and other supermarkets.

Quinn said the task of getting the confectionary maker back to being a profitable company will take work, speaking to the Herald at the Kogorah plant while wearing a fluro maintenance shirt.

''I wear a maintenance shirt because things are broken,'' he said of Darrell Lea. ''Every facet [of operations] was disconnected, marketing from sales, sales from finance, etc.''

Part of the plan will include a heavier focus on the 200 best performing and known products in the range, including the Rocklea Road and Soft Eating Liquorice, while 600 less popular products will most likely be dropped.

''It was the lesser known products that were dragging the business down,'' he said.

''It was very hard choosing what products to keep.

“But when we looked at it closer, it was obvious.''

Darrell Lea the No. 1 producer of liquorice in Australia.

While the Quinn family wants to modernise the Kogarah plant, to Darrell Lea products keep  their distinctive handmade flavour, much of the old confectionary processes and equipment will remain.

This includes burnished copper pans in which cooks make peanut brittle without a recipe and thermometer, Qiunn explained.

''You hear people talk about word 'iconic,' but Darrell Lea is iconic,” he said.

“There's so much history we can draw back on going forward, it's really exciting.''

What do you think of the Quinn family's decision to drop 600 products? Is it good business sense?


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