New Zealand expansion for meat firm Hilton Food Group to serve Countdown supermarkets

By Lester Wan

- Last updated on GMT

Hilton Food Group expands into New Zealand with a new meat processing and packing plant. ©iStock
Hilton Food Group expands into New Zealand with a new meat processing and packing plant. ©iStock
Hilton Food Group PLC, a UK-based meat processing and packing firm, is set to expand into New Zealand with an investment worth NZ$54 million.

A new meat processing and packing plant will be constructed in Auckland to supply Progressive Enterprises Ltd, New Zealand’s largest retailer, which owns and operates over 184 Countdown supermarkets in the country.

An estimated 2.5 million New Zealanders visit its supermarket stores each week.

Progressive Enterprises is also a part of Woolworths Ltd, and is the franchisor of the Super Value and Fresh Choice supermarkets, which represents a further 62 stores which are part of the Woolworths group.

Production at the new processing and packing plant is due to commence in 2020. It will supply the supermarkets and stores with a range of beef, lamb, pork, chicken and other processed food products.

Just last year, Hilton extended its food range to offer fresh pizzas. It also produces sandwiches and ready meals in certain markets.

The Hilton business was established in 1994 to set up a beef and lamb central meat packing facility in Huntingdon, England, to supply Tesco UK. Over the next few years, it rapidly expanded into other European countries such as the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden and Poland.

The entry into the Asia-Pacific region began with a joint venture collaboration agreed with Woolworths in Western Australia in 2013. This was quickly followed by a new Woolworths factory in Victoria in 2015, and the announcement of plans for a new meat processing facility in Queensland in the following year.

The new development in New Zealand will be the extension of an existing facility and is subject to government approvals and other construction and tenure agreements. It is proposed that Hilton Food Group’s newly-formed subsidiary, Hilton Foods New Zealand, will finance the new plant.

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