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Darrell Lea seals IGA supermarket supply deal

By Oliver Nieburg+

28-Sep-2012

Australian confectioner Darrel Lea’s new owners have wasted little time in getting a foothold in the national commercial channels having secured a deal for 1,400 Independent Grocers of Australia (IGA) supermarkets to stock its confections.

Darrell Lea fell into administration in July and was purchased by the wealthy Australian Quinn family, which also own premium pet food business VIP Petfoods.

IGA is Australian arm of the Independent Grocers Alliance, the world’s largest voluntary supermarket network with over 4,000 independent stores in 41 countries.

Building supermarket presence

"Our manufacturing and distribution staff are working hard to get the products to the IGA shelves so we can satisfy Darrell Lea's loyal customers," Darrell Lea owner Tony Quinn said in a statement released through newswire AAP.

Tony Quinn is a self-made millionaire who rose from humble beginnings to be worth $194 million in 2009, according to Australian national press.

Darrell Lea and the Australian market

Darrell Lea products are currently sold in 1,800 retail outlets across Australia, New Zealand and the USA. The company also has 69 franchise stores, but plans to close 27 loss-making stores.

Darrel Lea employs around 700 people across its only manufacturing plant in Sydney and its retail network.

However, 418 jobs are expected to go amid restructuring efforts, according to Darrell Lea’s administrators PPB Advisory.

The confectioner produces chocolate and liquorice in a total portfolio comprising over 350 products.

According to Euromonitor International, Darrell Lea has a 1.6% share of the US $4bn Australian confectionery market, which is dominated by Mars and Kraft-owned Cadbury.

Leatherhead Food Research analyst Jonathan Thomas previously told this site that Darrell Lea could set itself apart from the big multinationals by focusing on the premium end of the market. See HERE .

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