Frozen dinners will become a little more interesting for South Africans thanks to a new deal between fishing company Sea Harvest and a Swedish food producer, Findus Sverige.
SA could look forward to four new product categories of frozen food - a wok range, a vegetable range, pasta dishes and prepared meals, Sea Harvest MD George Bezuidenhout said on Wednesday, 18 April 2012. He said 16 products in those four categories would be available in selected Pick n Pay stores.
"We are looking forward to growing this category in the local market, especially the vegetable range, as it will include exciting ingredients locals have not been able to get hold of, such as chestnuts," Mr Bezuidenhout said. The Swedes had superior quality vegetables thanks to their "amazing climate", he said.
The company would not import any fish products, he said. Sea Harvest has been exporting fish to Findus for about 12 years.
"It was inevitable, because of our joint expertise in the frozen foods industry and the synergies we enjoy, that this would lead to our both identifying further business growth opportunities," Mr Bezuidenhout said.
"The development of cuttingedge frozen convenience foods has been lagging behind in terms of innovation and variety in SA."
Findus export director Mats Jornell said its products would shake up consumers' expectations of frozen foods and wake up the frozen food category in SA.
SA is the 31st retail market for Findus, which has annual turnover of £1,1bn, employs 6400 people at 21 manufacturing sites in five countries and produces 345000 tons of food annually.
JSE-listed Brimstone, Sea Harvest's majority shareholder, is also invested in food companies such as Oceana and Taste Holdings. Mr Bezuidenhout said Sea Harvest's initiative with Findus was aligned to Brimstone's intention to grow in the food sector.
Last year Brimstone paid R37m for 12,4% of Taste, whose brands include the Fish and Chip Co and Scooters Pizza.
It also grew its interest in fishing company Oceana for about R382,5m.Source: Business Day