While SMEs usually hit the headlines for selling out to multinationals, it is a local operator from Adelaide that snapped up the iconic Violet Crumble chocolate brand from a global powerhouse.
A chocolate maker for 150 years now, Robern Menz has secured the rights to make the chocolate-coated honeycomb treat from Switzerland-headquartered Nestlé for an undisclosed sum.
The acquisition was made with the help of a massive $750,000 grant from the South Australian government, as well as a $900,000 loan from the Investment Attraction Agency.
“Like many South Australians, I love Violet Crumbles, and it’s great we can now all enjoy these chocolate bars knowing we’re also supporting South Australian jobs,” South Australian premier Jay Weatherill said in response to the deal’s announcement.
“Robern Menz is a household name in South Australia, and it’s great that this local business has ambitions to grow their operations and create more local jobs in food processing.”
Robern Menz CEO Phil Sims said the acquisition of “one of Australia’s great brands” is a major coup for his business, and a shot in the arm Australian manufacturing more broadly.
“We are fiercely passionate about Australian brands, and with a significant honeycomb business of our own, the opportunity was too good to pass on. With our expertise, we can ensure that Violet Crumble is produced with no change to the recipe, and with the same passion and affinity Australians have had towards the brand since 1913,” he said.
“As the new gatekeeper of Violet Crumble, we are aware of the responsibility that comes along with owning a brand so highly regarded in the Australian market place.”
In addition to creating some 30 new jobs in the coming months as local production of the sweets ramps up, family-owned Robern Menz announced it will invest a further $4 million in upgrading its factory and building new warehouse facilities.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.