Yet another iconic Aussie brand has been sold out to global interests with news that ice cream business Weis is acquired by a global company, 60 years after it was first established in regional Queensland.
The iconic brand, which is renowned for making fruit and ice cream bars, dairy-free sorbets and frozen yoghurts, was founded by Les Weis (pictured below) in Toowoomba back in 1957.
Manufacturing has remained in the regional city, around two hours west of Brisbane, ever since.
In recent years, Les Weis handed functional control of the business to daughter Julie, who has worked as the brand’s managing director.
Global conglomerate Unilever made the announcement of its acquisition of Weis, although it did not disclose the sale price.
“We are delighted to bring Weis’ exciting and delicious range into our portfolio, adding another Australian favourite to our leading ice cream range. This acquisition will bring Weis the benefits of scale, strong market access and ice cream category expertise to help take the business to the next level in its growth,” Unilever Australia and New Zealand CEO Clive Stiff said in a statement.
“Our Streets ice cream brand was created here in Australia by Edwin ‘Ted’ Street in the 1920s, and is one of the nation’s best-loved brands so ice cream is strategically important to Unilever Australia. Weis is another great Australian success story – a story that will continue with Unilever.”
Julie Weis did not return calls for comment. However, she said in the Unilever statement: “Our family made this decision because Unilever demonstrated their understanding of our brand, our products and how important our people and the Toowoomba manufacturing site are in ensuring Weis’ success into the future”.
“In addition, Unilever’s scale will enable greater market access and growth that will provide opportunities for our extended Weis family of staff, suppliers, customers and, of course, our wonderful consumers,” she said.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.