Goodman Fielder ordered to pay ex-plant manager $87k

A New Zealand Goodman Fielder ex-plant manager will receive $87,300 after he claims he was forced to resign when his role became unclear after the earthquakes.

Keith Wills, who worked for Goodman Fielder at its Christchurch site, successfully challenged an Employment Relations Authority (ERA) decision that ruled he was not constructively dismissed by the company in 2011, reports.

The company's Christchurch site in Essex St made operational changes after sustaining major damage in the February 2011 earthquake. It was believed it may take two years to rebuild the baking manufacturing plant.

The company decided it was unsustainable to retain baking staff by July and positions were disestablished, but kept Wills on as an employee, claiming it did not want to lose his skill, despite Wills believing his job would be disestablished.

He took on temporary roles and in November 2011, he asked to be considered for redundancy because he felt his core job of managing the food plant was redundant and the future of the Essex St site was uncertain.

“I have enquired several times about my position and my future within Goodman Fielder, however no one has been able to give me any answers,” Wills wrote in his resignation letter, dated December 21, 2011.

“This decision has not been an easy one to make after 33.5 years working for Goodman Fielder, however the ongoing uncertainty and stress has unfortunately left me with no choice but to resign.”

Wills unsuccessfully argued to the ERA he had been constructively dismissed. He believed his position should have been disestablished and he should have been offered a redundancy pay out, but took his case to the Employment Court where Judge Bruce Corkill overturned the decision.

Corkill found had Wills not carried on working at the company, it was likely his position would have been disestablished.

Corkill said the “company's interests were put ahead of Mr Wills' rights” by wanting to retain his skills instead of questioning if his position was needed.

Goodman and Fielder said Wills voluntarily resigned and his position was “not superfluous”.

Corkill ordered the company to pay Wills $13,437.15 in loss of wages, $61,907 in redundancy compensation and $12,000 for humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to feelings – totalling $87,344.15.

Goodman Fielder decided not to rebuild the bread plant in April 2013 and closed its manufacturing department in June last year. The site continues to operate as a bread depot.


New Kerry food R&D site to create nearly 120 jobs

Irish multinational food company Kerry Group will invest $13.7 million creating a centre for excellence for baked products in Altona.

The Herald Sun reports that the site will create 118 jobs, according to Victoria’s minister for state development Peter Ryan.

"The development of this new $13.7 million bakery operation will feature state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment and investment in research and development,” said Ryan in a statement.

"The centre for excellence will feature new manufacturing equipment including an automated baking line, pastry line, automated cake and doughnut decorating, freezing and packaging lines, slicing equipment and silos.

Ryan said it highlighted the state’s appeal as a destination to invest in food processing by multinational companies, and would assist in creating export opportunities.

The announcement comes a week after Mondelez, another transnational food company, officially opened an Asian R&D hub in Ringwood.

The food and beverage industry is consistently the strongest performing sector in Australian manufacturing, and led the sub-sector results in October’s PMI results.


Temptation Bakeries opens $2.5m manufacturing plant

Minister for Technology and Member for South-Eastern Metropolitan Region, Gordon Rich-Phillips today opened the new manufacturing facility of Temptation Bakeries, in Chelsea Heights.

Rich-Phillips said Temptation Bakeries is a true Victorian manufacturing success story.

“Temptation Bakeries employs 100 local people and contributes substantially to the local economy, community and the reputation of Victoria’s food manufacturing sector,” Rich-Phillips said.

“What began as a small family-owned bakery 21 years ago has developed into a leading manufacturer of award-winning food products for blue-chip customers, including major airlines, supermarkets and food service suppliers.

“Last financial year, Temptation Bakeries produced 32 million individual products and with the expansion of its facilities in Chelsea Heights now complete, is aiming to double this output within five years.”

Owners Mike and Pauline Ratcliff began their operations with a small regional bakery on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. Mike Ratcliff said their company’s competitive advantage leverages off innovative and sustained new product development and a flexible manufacturing culture that expects and welcomes change.

“We have actually capitalised on the advantages of being small and having the flexibility to bring together timely innovation, technology and business operations aimed at keeping costs down, while at the same time being able to deliver on rapidly shifting market demands,” Mike Ratcliff said. 


Byron Bay Cookie Company cops criticism over halal certification

Cookie manufacturer, Byron Bay Cookie Company is dealing with a social media backlash for having their Anzac biscuits certified as halal.

According to SmartCompany, a Facebook page called Boycott Halal in Australia has called for consumers to boycott Byron Bay Cookie Company, and a number of disgruntled consumers have posted comments on the company’s page.

One consumer wrote “I had to refuse to buy my grandchildren yr [sic] cookies yesterday dam [sic] you for being halal ..they were nice and a favorite of my grandchildren.”

Another said “Change your cover pic to an ISIS flag scumbags.”

Others have defended the certification, arguing it’s representative of Australia’s multicultural community. “I can’t think of anything more ‘Australian’ than Halal Anzac Cookies. What an amazing way to show how respectful, multicultural and tolerant Australia really is,” one commenter wrote.

Byron Bay Cookie Company is seeking legal advice and told SmartCompany it had been dealing with a “small but well-orchestrated anti-halal campaign” for the past six to eight months.

85c bread unlikely to affect specialist bakeries, Roy Morgan

Despite recent announcements from the nation’s supermarkets that Homebrand bread will be dropping to 85c per loaf, data from Roy Morgan suggests that the price reduction will have no impact on smaller specialist bakeries.

Roy Morgan says that overall, supermarkets account for almost two-thirds of Australia’s total weekly spend on bread. Woolworths holds the largest share of the bread market at 27 percent, representing a mean weekly spend of $5.96 per customer,. Coles comes in second with a 23 percent share representing $5.66 per customer, IGA holds seven percent and Aldi six percent.

Specialist bread shops such as Baker’s Delight, Brumby’s Bakery and Delifrance have a combined share of the market comparable to that of Woolworths at almost 27 percent. However, the mean weekly spend is higher than that of the supermarkets ranging from $6.85 at Delifrance, $7.37 at bakers Delight and $7.58 at Brumby’s Bakery.

Group account director of Roy Morgan research, Warren Reid says that despite claims that 85c bread could impact heavily on independent and specialist retailers, data has shown that consumers who purchase their bread from specialist stores and bakeries are willing to pay more for it and would be highly unlikely to “be swayed by an 85 cent white loaf.”

“People who purchase their bread at specialist bread stores tend to be very different to those who buy it at supermarkets, and although there is some crossover, offering white loafs for 85 cents is unlikely to change this,” says Reid. “Woolies would have been more likely to win over Coles and ALDI customers if these supermarkets hadn’t been so quick to discount their own white loaves in response to the price reduction.

“The real threat will be to the ‘branded’ bread sold through supermarkets, when consumers are forced to compare the two products side by side — one much cheaper than the other.”

Chart: Roy Morgan

Weston Milling merges with AB Mauri

George Weston Foods (GWF) has announced the merger of its Weston Milling business with AB Mauri’s Australia & New Zealand operations. 

The new entity launches as MAURI anz, a division of GWF and an affiliate of the global AB Mauri business (both of which are divisions of Associated British Foods).

“This is an exciting stage in our growth.  Building an integrated bakery ingredients business in Australia has been a long-term objective as a means to offer something very unique and compelling in the category, for the baker – big and small,” said Andrew Reeves, chief executive of George Weston Foods.

“The merger affords us the opportunity to help drive best practice, leverage the combined scale, access global expertise and in turn build the local category,” Reeves said.

The merger sees former George Weston Foods chief financial officer, David Wallace promoted to the position of Managing Director, MAURI anz.

 “It’s an exciting time to be part of and lead the MAURI anz team,” Wallace said. “We’ve designed the new MAURI anz to create value for our customers that fundamentally helps them gain competitive advantage and achieve business growth. Our new offering enables us to work closely with all types of bakers large and small.  Doing business with MAURI anz has been made simple, collaborative and efficient.”

Dedicated technical and service account teams will be assigned to and work with all MAURI anz customers. The current suite of bakery ingredients and brands available through Weston Milling and AB Mauri remain available to customers.


Patties Foods releases 2014 FY results

Patties Foods has reported a 1.2 percent revenue growth to $247.7 million for the 2013/14 financial year, despite the loss of a major private label frozen fruit contract.

The Australian food manufacturing company produces meat pies, baked goods, frozen fruits, and pre-made desserts and includes brands such as Four’n Twenty, Herbet Adams and Nanna’s.

Over the financial year, profit margins were stable in a competitive market place with channel margin pressure and increased input costs. These were offset by improved manufacturing performance and a sales price increase.

Throughout the period, Patties Foods maintained market share leadership in all categories and Four’n Twenty remained as the market leading brand.

Nanna’s frozen fruit saw branded growth of 92 percent due to new product launches with high customer penetration whilst the frozen fruit category grew by 36 percent.

Oatties Foods also launched the Four’n Twenty Real Chunky Pies, Herbet Adams 8-hour Slow Cooked premium pies and Patties Pie Bites.

Patties Foods chairman, Mark Smith, attributed the profit growth as “the early benefits of investing in branded growth initiatives and innovation, with continued focus on productivity improvements including effective cost control.”

Managing director and CEO, Steven Chaur said “over the past 12 months. Our productivity, safety and efficiency programs at our Bairnsdale bakery have delivered improved results, with operational and automation investment continuing to increase our efficiencies, product quality and bakery cost base performance.”


Arnott’s slashes 120 jobs

Arnott’s Marleston bakery facility is letting go of 120 staff members, and will shift thirty percent of its production to other manufacturing sites in Australia.

According to Adelaide Now, the 120 redundancies will be made over the next 18 months.Arnott’s spokesman Craig Funnell said the company is committed to manufacturing in Australia, and has spent $150 million upgrading its facilities, including the creation of two ‘super sites’ in Sydney and Brisbane.

“Manufacturing in Australia is part of Arnott’s DNA and our goal is to continue to manufacture here,” he said. “To remain competitive in a global market, we need to embrace improved technology and asset utilisation.”

The Marleston facility is the only Arnott’s site which manufactures the more “intricate” biscuits, including Iced VoVos and Caramel Crowns. Once the production transfers are completed, the site will continue to manufacture roughly 7,500 tonnes of biscuits and 8,000 tonnes of liquid chocolate a year.


China represents attractive market for baked goods

New research from Canadean has found that China will become the second most valuable market for bakery and cereal products by 2018.

The report suggests that the Chinese market for these products could reach $47 billion within a four year period as more urban dwellers choose to consume snacks on the go. With only the US market worth more, China is set to become one of the most attractive bakery and cereals markets worldwide.

According to Canadean, the current per capita consumption of baked goods in China is still relatively low, but the research indicates that there is a lot of room for growth.

At present, the average Chinese consumer only has 92 bakery and cereal occasions per year which is far lower than the European average. Canadean also found that Chinese consumers prefer cakes, pastries and sweet pies, as opposed to bread and bread rolls. Cakes, pastries and sweet pies currently account for 43.9 percent of China’s market share.

“Growing urbanisation will promote the growth of the Chinese middle class, which, in turn, will lead to a demand for a wider range of products,” says Veronika Zhupanova, analyst at Canadean. 

“Manufacturers should take advantage of this trend and produce bakery and cereals items that serve as an energy boost for busy Chinese who skipped breakfast or need a snack break at work. Single-serve packed items, such as Tao Li's red bean paste Dorayaki, will sell particularly well during office hours, whereas multipacks of ambient and individually packed items will be suitable for tired consumers who are looking for a treat after a long day of work.” 


Tip Top gets personal with new campaign

Rather than personalising labels like the successful Coke campaign in 2011, Tip Top are instead providing a ‘Mum Song Dedications’ digital platform.

The microsite follows a four-step process of choosing a melody, beats, effects and lyrics to create a personalised Tip Top ‘Good on ya mum’ song.

Each song is a digital revamp of the Tip Top jingle, which can then be shared on Facebook, in an email, or with a phone call.

The campaign will also be supported by in store promotion, out of home posters, TV, radio and PR.

Group Marketing Manager, Justine Cotter said “The jingle celebrates the effort mum goes to for her family and we are excited to provide an interactive platform that allows Aussies to create their own unique, personalised, and meaningful song to dedicate to their mums.”

To check out the microsite, click here.


Campbell’s boss says biscuit makers need to innovate

According to Luca Mignini, president of Campbell International, the Australian grocery sector needs to concentrate on innovation in favour of price promotions in order to remain competitive.

“We all know Australia is a market where promotion is having a key role,'' Mignini told Fairfax. ''We have just launched some innovation in terms of flavouring and there must be more than one currency with which you delight your consumer and promotion is just one of those. There are many others.''

According to Mignini, it was through innovation that the Arnott’s Tim Tam brand (which is owned by Campbell International) was able to reclaim customers that it lost to the sales of rival brands and cut-price private-label biscuits.

The Tim Tam brand launched its portion controlled Adriano Zumbo range earlier this year, which helped Arnott’s to reclaim customers and boost its share of the sweet biscuit category to 59 percent, as well as increase its majority share of the chocolate biscuit category to 80.9 percent.

Together with a renewed strategy locally, Arnott’s plans to launch its savoury biscuit range, Shapes, into the Indonesian market this year. It will also be looking to launch its Tim Tam range into other South East Asian countries.

“The launch of Shapes in Indonesia this year will be the biggest launch since the inception of Arnott's and actually I do see personally Asia as a big playground for both Arnott's and Tim Tams in particular,' Mignini said.

Mrs Mac’s Oven Fresh

Product name: Oven Fresh

Product manufacturer: Mrs Mac's

Ingredients: Steak (Minimum 25%), Water, Wheat Flour, Vegetable Oils [Vegetable Oil, Water, Salt, Milk Solids, Emulsifiers (471, 472c, Soybean Lecithin), Antioxidants (304, 320), Flavour, Colour (160a)], Thickener (1422), Seasoning [Wheat, Soy], Maltodextrin, Flavour

Shelf life:18 months frozen

Packaging: Two pies per pack

Brand website

What the company says
Our range of unbaked pies are made with premium ingredients like 100% lean Australian beef, fresh free range chicken and fresh vegetables. Simply add a milk or egg-wash glaze and bake to perfection. We make it, you bake it!


New Zealand biscuit maker sold for $700m

New Zealand biscuit maker, Griffin’s has been sold to Universal Robina Corporation, a Philippines-based food manufacturer for $700m.

The sale, which is subject to approval from the Overseas Investment Office, is said to have doubled the initial investment made by Australian-based owners, Pacific Equity Partners, reports.

Should the deal go ahead, Griffin’s chief operating officer, Alison Taylor will become CEO and executive chairman, Ron Vela, will be retained as a consultant.

Taylor believes that URC has purchased the company due to the significant opportunities for growth.

"That is why they are buying the business – for the manufacturing platform and the opportunities that provides for products in their markets," she said.

Vela echoed Taylor’s comments, stating that the sale is a positive move for the NZ workforce.

‘I just think they'll be investing forever. This is a gift in heaven for the New Zealand workforce, for the country itself," Vela said.

Griffin’s currently employs 800 people and operates two factories in Auckland.  


Arnott’s Tim Tam by Adriano Zumbo – Red Velvet

Product Name: Tim Tam Red Velvet

Product Manufacturer: Arnott’s

Ingredients: sugar, wheat flour, vegetable oil, milk solids, cocoa butter, coca mass, emulsifiers, salt, cocoa powder, food colours, baking powder, flavour, antioxidants.

Product Manager: Laura Hindson

Brand Website:

What the company says:

Arnott’s Tim Tam and celebrity patissier Adriano Zumbo have collaborated on a fourth dessert-inspired Tim Tam flavour. Inspired by the Red Velvet Cup Cake, Tim Tam Red Velvet is an indulgent combination of vibrant red biscuits and a velvety cream cheese centre, coated in a layer of Tim Tam milk chocolate.

“It’s been an honour to personally develop my own range of Tim Tam biscuits,” says Zumbo. “I grew up on the iconic Aussie bikkie and have always dreamed about putting my own twist on it. Following the success of our first collection, we’re thrilled to launch Tim Tam Red Velvet – designed to taste like one of my favourite cakes.”

Tim Tim Brand Manager, Laura Hindson says: “Tim Tam Red Velvet is an exciting addition to the popular Tim Tam by Adriano Zumbo collection of unique, fun, indulgent and innovative flavours.”


Tip Top expands frozen bread range

Tip Top Foodservice, the foodservice bakery division of George Weston Foods, is extending its range of frozen sliced breads.

Adding to the existing frozen sliced breads and English muffin products, Tip Top Foodservice is now also offering frozen Abbott’s Village Bakery and Burgen sliced breads as well as Golden pancakes.

Available from 7 July, the frozen bread range thaws quickly and can be stored in the freezer for up to four months.

“For Australian foodservice outlets looking to cater to the increasingly sophisticated tastes of Australian consumers, having premium rustic and health breads available is important to consumers,” said Brian Esplin, national business manager for Tip Top Foodservice.

“Tip Top Foodservice’s expanded frozen range of baked products will ensure that cafés, lunch shops and other outlets are able to always have premium product on hand. The product is frozen soon after baking to maximise freshness and our sensory appraisals confirm the quality and taste when compared to its non-frozen equivalent.”

The frozen range now includes:

  • Abbott’s Rustic White Sliced
  • Farmhouse Wholemeal Sliced
  • Country Grains Sliced and Light Rye Sliced
  • Burgen Soy Linseed Sliced and Rye Sliced
  • Golden Pancakes
  • Along with the existing offerings of White Sliced, Wholemeal Sliced, Multigrain Sliced, Super Thick White Sliced, Super Thick Raisin Bread and Traditional English muffins


Kez’s Kitchen’s Taking Cafe Home cookie range

Product Name Taking Cafe Home cookie range

Product Manufacturer Kez’s Kitchen

Product Manager Michael Carp

Brand Website

What the company says

Kez’s Kitchen, has expanded its ever-popular Taking Cafe Home range with the launch of five new flavour-packed cookies, exclusive to Woolworths.

Kez’s Taking Cafe Home range allows biscuit-lovers to enjoy the luxury cafe experience in their own homes. The five new products add a creative twist to family favourites. Mini Mixed Moments is a new take on Melting Moments, a packet of nine bite-size melting moments in heavenly chocolate, red velvet and passionfruit flavours which were inspired by the French macaron. 

Using its fabulous Florentine as a muse, Kez’s Kitchen has delivered true innovation to the biscuit category and created two delicious cookie slice options: available in Fig & Date with Dark Choc and Salted Caramel Peanut & Pretzel with Milk Choc, it will be near-impossible to have just one.

Taking its famous Chocolate Chip cookies and smothering them in rich choc deliciousness has resulted in the creation of the most decadent Taking Cafe Home snacks yet: Chocolate Mud-Cookie Bites available in Chocolate Chip and Salted Caramel Fudge, both are sure to be a hit with the whole family.

Michael Carp, Managing Director of Kez’s Kitchen, is confident the products will be a new favourite among existing and new customers. “Consumers are always looking for new and exciting innovation and we are pleased that with the support of Woolworths these products will be available to Australian consumers nationally from June. These new products were created specifically so that consumers can experience cafe style, indulgent treats in the comfort of their own homes.”

New products in the Taking Cafe Home range include:

  • Mini Mixed Moments 9 in 190g pack 
  • Fig & Date with Dark Chocolate Cookie Slices 6 x 25g
  • Salted Caramel Peanut & Pretzel Milk Chocolate Coated Slices 6 x 25g
  • Chocolate Mud-Cookie Bites Chocolate Chip 200g box
  • Chocolate Mud-Cookie Bites Salted Caramel Fudge 200g box


Coles found guilty over “freshly baked” bread claims

Supermarket giant Coles has been found guilty over its “freshly baked” bread claims.

The federal court ruled today that the supermarket misled shoppers by claiming that its bread together with a range of other baked goods were “freshly baked” or “Baked Fresh” when it had actually been par baked months earlier in factories overseas.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) launched legal proceedings against Coles in June last year, accusing the supermarket of engaging in deceptive and misleading conduct, relating to the claims on various ‘Cuisine Royale’ and ‘Coles Bakery’ branded bread products.

In his ruling, Federal Court chief justice James Allsop said that claims made by Coles amounted to a misleading representation that the par baked bread products had been baked on the day of sale or baked in a fresh process using fresh not frozen product.

“It is not the place of the court to provide advice …as to how Coles might sell bread that has been par-baked from frozen product…A start would, however, be to make it tolerably clear to the public that the recent baking was the completion of a baking process that had taken place sometime before, off site, and that “freshly baked” actually meant the completion of the baking process of frozen product prepared and frozen off site by suppliers,”said Allsop.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said that the ACCC initiated proceedings because it was concerned that Coles’ ‘Baked Today’ and ‘Freshly Baked’ claims about par baked bread were likely to mislead consumers in addition to placing independently-owned and franchised bakeries that freshly bake bread from scratch each day at a competitive disadvantage.

“Today’s decision confirms that Coles misled consumers about the baking of these bread products. Consumers should be able to rely on the accuracy of credence claims made by businesses like Coles to promote their products, especially where those claims are used to compete with smaller businesses which are genuinely offering a differentiated product,” said Sims.


Gluten intolerance more psychological than physical: study


The Melbourne professor who found links between gluten and gastrointestinal distress has discovered that his original findings were flawed, casting doubt on the validity of non-coeliac gluten intolerance.

According to Real Clear Science, Peter Gibson, a professor of gastroenterology at Monash University and director of the GI unit at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, published a study in 2011 that found gluten caused gastrointestinal discomfort in patients that didn’t suffer from Coeliac Disease.

His research was one of the strongest pieces of evidence that non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, or gluten intolerance, exists, and has prompted the surge in gluten-free products on retailers’ shelves in recent years.

According to Innova Market Insights, nearly eight percent of global product launches recorded in 2013 used a gluten-free positioning, rising to 10 percent in Western Europe and nearly 14 percent in the USA, where gluten-free products are estimated to be worth $15 billion by 2016, a rise of 50 percent compared to the 2013 figures.

Despite the wide acceptance of Gibson’s findings, they shed no light on what causes some consumers’ adverse reaction to gluten, and he had uncovered more variables to control, so he decided to reassess his findings.

This time he provided his subjects with every single meal throughout the experiment’s duration and all other potential dietary triggers including lactose, preservative such as benzoates and sulfites and poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrates (FODMAPs) were removed. Nine days’ worth of urine and faecal matter were also collected.

All 37 of the experiment’s participants didn’t have Coeliac Disease but did experience improved gastrointestinal symptoms on a gluten-free diet. They were first fed a low FODMAP diet, then trialled a number of other diets including one with 16g per day of added gluten, one with 2g of gluten and 14g of whey protein isolate and one with 16g of whey protein isolate (this was the placebo).

The participants didn’t know which diet they were eating at any stage of the experiment.

Interestingly, Gibson found that regardless of which diet the participants were eating, they reported a worsening of gastrointestinal symptoms to similar degrees. Therefore, Gibson’s revised study found that gluten intolerance may be more psychological than anything else.

“The data clearly indicated that a nocebo effect, the same reaction that prompts some people to get sick from wind turbines and wireless internet, was at work here. Patients reported gastrointestinal distress without any apparent physical cause,” Real Clear Science reports.

“In contrast to our first study… we could find absolutely no specific response to gluten,” said Gibson.

The real culprit could be FODMAPs, said Jessica Biesiekierski, a gastroenterologist formerly at Monash University and lead author of the study alongside Gibson, who noted that when participants consumed the low-FODMAP diet, almost all reported that their symptoms had improved.Gluten may well have been incorrectly identified as the cause of gastrointestinal distress in non-coeliac consumers because some of the largest sources of FODMAPs, specifically bread products, are removed on a gluten-free diet, which could explain why those who suffer from symptoms including bloating, wind and nausea feel better while following a gluten-free diet.


Menora lands “game changer” deal

Menora Foods has landed a deal with Premier Foods in what is being described by the food marketing and distribution company as “an absolute game changer.”

Menora has secured a deal with the London Stock Exchange-listed Premier Foods for its Peckish range of rice snacks, The Australian reports.

The brand, which also distributes Cobram Estate olive oil, Wattle Valley cheeses and dips and Maille mustard, is also in talks with the US and South Africa to take their brands into new markets.

‘’It is an absolute game changer for our business. To have a business such as Premier recognise the value in a brand such as Peckish and to take it into a market which is three times the size of Australia is a great achievement,’’ said Menora chief executive, Sam Schachna.

The Peckish and Wattle Valley brands entered the New Zealand market three years ago as the first stage in Menora’s international expansion plans, and the New Zealand business is now has a turnover of more than $20 million with more than 40 percent market share.

Menora markets more than 1,500 products and half of its revenue comes from supplying independent grocery stores. The company has also moved into chilled meals and the beverage market through a deal with Saxby’s soft drinks.

Established in Melbourne in 1967 as Menora Gourmet Products, three years ago Menora Foods invested in a state-of-the-art head office facility in Noble Park, containing warehousing for dry, chilled, frozen and confectionery products,


Australian cake manufacturer on brink of collapse

An Australian cake manufacturer with a 70 year history is on the brink of collapse.

Big Sister Foods, which employees around 100 staff across its two NSW manufacturing sites, had PPB Advisory appointed as receivers on Wednesday afternoon to undertake an ‘urgent review’ of the business.

PPB Advisory’s Daniel Walley said that stakeholders will be updated on any meaningful developments regarding the review when it is practically possible to do so, The Age reports.

"We are undertaking an urgent review of the business with a view to preparing Big Sister Foods for sale as a going concern,'' said Walley in a statement.

'We will work with all stakeholders including employees and their representatives, customers and suppliers to ensure the business continues to operate effectively.''

Big Sister Foods was founded by Kenneth Higgins in 1945 and supplies cakes, muffins, mince pies and cupcakes to Australia’s major retail chains.