Fazer establishes a new business area and buys the Finnish oat expert Bioferme
Fazer Group continues executing its growth strategy and investing in oats by buying Bioferme Oy, an expert in fermented oat products. With this acquisition, Fazer will obtain the consumer brand Yosa and enter a new product category and market. To enhance its growth and internationalisation, Fazer will establish a new business area, Fazer Lifestyle Foods, which will focus on non-dairy grain products, plant-based meals and on-the-go snacking.
‘We are continuing our growth strategy and are set for internationalisation. We are excited to announce that Fazer will establish a new business area, Fazer Lifestyle Foods. We proceed with developing the Group towards a modern, sustainable food company, building on high-quality nutrition and adjacent new businesses. We see great opportunities for the new business area. Our ambition is to significantly grow this business with a broad international focus,ʼ says Christoph Vitzthum, President and CEO of the Fazer Group. ‘The acquisition of Bioferme is a concrete start for the new business area.ʼ
Rapidly growing demand for well-being and sustainability
Health and well-being as well as sustainable lifestyles are strong global consumer trends, and the superfood, oats, is booming worldwide. The Fazer Lifestyle Foods business area will focus on non-dairy products, plant-based meals and on-the-go food and drinks. In addition, Fazer will continue to grow in the breakfast category with products such as porridges and mueslis. The total market for non-dairy products in Western Europe is growing at a yearly rate of over 10 per cent.
Fazer’s milling business, Fazer Mills, is an important raw material provider of oat-based products for Fazer’s internal as well as external customers. Fazer Mills will continue to serve the entire industry also in the future. Fazer sees great growth opportunities in oats and, during the past few years, the company has invested 30 million euros in its milling business in Finland and Sweden. Fazer has also developed new high-quality consumer products, such as the Fazer Alku porridges and Fazer Alku mueslis. Nordic oats are pure and natural and the unique growing conditions produce excellent quality.
Consumer brand Yosa with fermented oat products
With the acquisition of Bioferme Oy, Fazer Lifestyle Foods gets a strong start. Oat-based products are rapidly growing in the consumer markets. Bioferme has the established Yosa brand in Finland, a strong product portfolio of fermented oat products, including a range of non-dairy yogurts, and strong expertise in oat products.
Combining the oat expertise, brand strength, product portfolios, retail access and financial strength of Fazer and Bioferme, the business is expected to instantly become a strong player in the growing market. Bioferme will become a Fazer company and the business will be headed by Niko Scharlin, a member of the founder family and the seller of the company.
‘The Yosa products found a good home at Fazer. It means a lot to us that we share similar values and that Fazer is a valued family company. We are excited about the new opportunities this cooperation can offer,ʼ says Niko Scharlin, Managing Director and the main owner of Bioferme Oy.
Bioferme in brief
- Located in the Turku region in Finland
- Established in 1977
- Consumer brand Yosa in Finland
- A strong product portfolio of fermented oat products and strong expertise in oat products. The product portfolio includes a wide range of yogurts, and recently also cooking products were added to the portfolio. All the products are free from milk and soy.
- In 2016, the net sales of Bioferme amounted to 6.8 million euros
- Employs ca 25 people
- Main market Finland, some exports to Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands
Christoph Vitzthum, President and CEO, Fazer Group
Ulrika Romantschuk, SVP, Communications & Branding, Fazer Group, tel. +358 40 566 4246
Fazer is an international family-owned company offering quality bakery, confectionery, biscuit and grain products as well as food and café services. Fazer operates in eight countries and exports to around 40 countries. Fazer’s mission is to create taste sensations. Fazer’s success, ever since its establishment in 1891, has been based on the best product and service quality, beloved brands, the passion of its skilful people and the Group’s responsible ways of working. In 2015, Fazer Group had net sales of more than 1.5 billion euros and nearly 15,000 employees. Fazer’s operations comply with ethical principles that are based on the Group’s values and the UN Global Compact.
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