Robern Menz, a family-run business that has been operating for 150 years, primarily manufactures chewy candies and fruit-added chocolate bites, according to its website.
In addition to acquiring Violet Crumble, Robern Menz will also take on the brand’s intellectual property, plant and equipment.
Martin Brown, general manager of Nestlé’s confectionery unit, said, “The sale of the Violet Crumble brand to Robern Menz recognizes that they are well positioned to combine their existing honeycomb manufacturing with that of Violet Crumble and continue to invest behind this well-loved brand.”
He mentioned Violet Crumble’s recipe would remain the same upon transferring its manufacturing line to the Robern Menz factory in Adelaide, South Australia, in the coming months. Additionally, there will be no changes to staffing at the Nestlé factory.
Focusing on key brands
Nestlé Australia’s spokesperson, Margaret Stuart, told ConfectioneryNews the business divestment allows the company to focus on its major brands, particularly KitKat, Milkybar, Allen’s and Soothers.
“Violet Crumble is a small brand in our portfolio,” she said. “Last year, we invested $8m in the Campbellfield (suburb of Melbourne) factory where Violet Crumble is made to support our key local chocolate brands and growing exports of KitKat.”
Stuart declined to comment on Nestlé’s performance in Australia, but the company’s nine-month earnings results ending September 2017 showed its sales from AOA (Asia, Oceania and Sub-Saharan Africa) region reached CHF 11.9bn ($12.25bn), up 2% year-over-year.
Nestlé is currently the fourth largest chocolate confectioner in Australia with Mondelēz, Mars and Lindt & Sprüngli the top players in the category and Ferrero in fifth, according to Euromonitor data.