The iconic Violet Crumble chocolate bar is back in Australian hands after a fourth-generation family owned Adelaide business inked a deal with Swiss food and beverage giant Nestléto acquire the brand.
Robern Menz, one of the largest Australian-owned confectionery businesses, will buy the Violet Crumblebrand and its associated intellectual property, plant and equipment for an undisclosed sum. Manufacturing, sales and marketing operations will transition to Robern Menz gradually through 2018.
It already produces more than 100 products including MenzFruChocs, Crown Mints andJeliChocs at its Adelaide factory, which will begin manufacturing Violet Crumbles in the coming months.
English migrant Abel Hoadley is credited with inventing the Violet Crumble in the early 1900s at his confectionery works in Melbourne. HisHoadley’s Chocolates business was bought in 1972 by the UK’s Rowntree Company, which was in turn acquired by Nestléin 1989.
Robern Menz will acquire the Violet Crumble brand and its associated intellectual property, plant and equipment for an undisclosed sum. Photo: AAP
Violet Crumblehas been manufactured at the Nestlé factory in Campbellfield, Melbourne since then. Nestlésaidthere would be no changes to staffing at its factory.
Robern Menz chief executive Phil Sims said:”We are really excited to have partnered with Nestlé and reached an agreement to acquire what is undoubtedly one of Australia’s great brands.
“As the new gatekeeper ofViolet Crumble, we are aware of the responsibility that comes along with owning a brand so highly regarded in the Australian market place.
“We are fiercely passionate about Australian brands and with a significant honeycomb business of our own, the opportunity was too good to pass on. With our expertise, we can ensure thatViolet Crumbleis produced with no change to the recipe, and with the same passion and affinity Australians have had towards the brand since 1913.”
Robern Menz CEO Phil Sims, left, with Richard Sims, said: “As the new gatekeeper of Violet Crumble, we are aware of the responsibility that comes along with owning a brand so highly regarded in the Australian market place.” Photo: Supplied
Mr Sims said Robern Menz was planning to reintroduce the product in a variety of “nostalgic formats”.
Robern Menz, which will investing $4 million in 2018 on a factory refit and extension and new warehousing facilities, expects the deal to create up to 30 jobs.
Nestlégeneral manager, confectionery, Martin Brown said the company wasdelighted that the history and tradition ofViolet Crumble would continue under local ownership.
“I want to recognise the passion of generations of confectioners who have madeViolet Crumblein our Nestlé Campbellfield factory. We remain committed to manufacturing our other loved brands, such as KitKat,Milkybar,AllensandSoothershere in Australia,” he said.
Robern Menz was aided by a $750,000 state government Future Jobs Fund grant and a $900,000 loan from the Investment Attraction Agency.
BusinessDay reporters and AAP