Page 7 - Food & Drink Business Jan-Feb 2020
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Newly Weds acquires Top Taste
NEWLY Weds Foods has acquired Top Taste from George Weston Foods for an undisclosed sum. The deal was signed on 9 December.
Newly Weds CEO Calvin Boyle told Food & Drink Business it was an exciting development for the company, expanding its existing savoury lines to include the sweet bakery lines run by Top Taste.
The Top Taste factory in Kedron on Brisbane’s northside will be closed in the first half of 2020, with the operation moving to Newly Weds facility in Sydney’s Wetherill Park.
The Courier Mail reported 120 staff would be affected.
“The transaction will be completed by the middle of January, and then it will be a process of servicing customers,
building up stock and then shutdown in late April. We then hope to be operational by late July, early August,” Boyle said.
Newly Weds’ Wetherill Park plant has four adjacent buildings and scope for new lines to be added. Much of the existing equipment will be shipped down from the Kedron bakery with some additions and upgrades, Boyle said.
The timing for the move and re-opening was not planned but fortuitous he said, as many sweet bakery customers had businesses skewed to the summer months.
The Sydney plant will employ around 12 people across multiple shifts.
Newly Weds Foods has a well-established breadcrumb
business, running two lines for traditional and panko crumbs. It also has a seasoning business of functional blends and premixes, which accounts for about 45 per cent of the company’s revenue.
Last year it acquired New Zealand manufacturer Diron Industries, which is
predominantly a liquid sauce business. Newly Weds has experienced impressive growth in New Zealand in recent years and earlier this year, Boyle told Food & Drink Business he expected business to double there in the next five to 10 years. ✷
Amatil X launches multi-million dollar fund
COCA-COLA Amatil’s corporate venture arm, Amatil X, has launched a multi-million dollar fund targeting early stage start-ups with Artesian Venture Partners. Its first investment is an AI start-up from
New Zealand, Aider.
Amatil group director of partners and growth Chris Sullivan said the fund would come from existing resources in Amatil X and minority investments in early stage
start-ups. It will be managed by Artesian, Sullivan said.
“Artesian are recognised experts in identifying and recommending high quality early-stage start-ups for investment. We’re proud to partner with them in growing start-up ecosystems and scouting for business opportunities for the future,” Sullivan said.
“One focus of Amatil X is to invest in platforms that allow
our current and future customers to optimise their business and increase sales,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan said Artesian’s Venture Capital as a Service (VCaaS) platform provides Amatil X with scalable resources and expertise to filter and select the best early stage start-ups across Amatil’s territories.
Artesian managing partner Jeremy Colless said the partnership between the two companies was a “new wave of corporate innovation” that could access R&D being carried out by “thousands of early stage start-ups across the region”.
“By investing in a portfolio of best-of-breed early stage start-ups, Amatil X has access to a pre-screened and de-risked pipeline from which they may choose to make strategic, later stage investments,” Colless said.
Aider has developed an artificial intelligence digital assistant for SMEs to access customer and business data insights in real time.
Sullivan said: “Voice- activated commerce will
contribute more than $80 billion per year to global economies by 2023, and we’re enthusiastic about encouraging its rollout in our region.
“Aider fits the bill. It brings together all aspects of a business owner’s data to optimise returns and helps the retailer better match data with instinct in daily business decisions.”
Aider co-founder and CFO Pete Weaver said the digital assistant was like having a rock-star employee.
“Aider starts with a conversation. Via text or voice-assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, a business owner can simply ask Aider real time questions like ‘what was my top-seller last week?’, ‘what will my sales look like next week?’ or ‘what was my wage cost vs. revenue last month?’, and Aider returns a prompt answer,” he said.
Aider has been in the market in New Zealand for
a year with more than 200 customers from local retailers to Westpac Bank NZ. ✷ | January-February 2020 | Food&Drink business | 7

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