The opening last week of a regional development and application centre in Durban, South Africa, signals a clear intent by Kerry Foods to ramp up its focus on the fast growing sub-Saharan African region.
Speaking at the official opening ceremony last week, Stan McCarthy, chief executive of the Irish ingredient, flavours and food manufacturer, said the new Durban centre would serve as a platform to expand the group’s presence in Africa, capitalising on sectoral growth opportunities in sub Saharan Africa and meeting the requirements of Kerry customers in what is the second fastest growing region of the world.
He said: “With over €1 billion Kerry Group revenue in developing markets, we are firmly focused on our developing markets’ growth strategy.”
The new centre will serve Kerry’s expanding global, regional and local customer base in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Kerry’s Durban centre will support our global customers who are expanding their regional footprint, whilst bringing the benefits of the group’s leading technology portfolio to local food and beverage producers,” said McCarthy.
Kerry has identified the meat, sauce, prepared foods, snack, bakery, confectionery and beverage sectors as the “industry growth categories” in the region, and will align its offerings “with local market trends and consumer demand” to drive innovation across these categories.
The creation of the centre follows two acquisitions by Kerry in South Africa; in February 2012 Kerry bought FlavourCraft, a Durban-based company that specialises in flavours for meats, soups, sauces, dressings and savoury snacks in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana and other key markets in west Africa.
Then last March, Cape Town-based Orley Foods, a manufacturer of sweet ingredients such as chocolate products, syrups and ice cream coatings, became part of the Kerry Group.
A new global technology and innovation centre for the EMEA markets is currently under construction in Ireland.
Headquartered in Tralee, Ireland, Kerry Group has revenues of approximately €5.8 billion and employs some 24,000 people.