HKScan Corporation, Press Release, 7 April 2022, at 2 pm EET
The new joint venture between HKScan and Vihannes-Laitila will increase the added value of vegetables and renew the supply of fresh vegetable products. The joint venture will respond to the growing consumer demand and within a year, will launch products that make it easy to increase vegetables in the diet. The collaboration will promote HKScan’s strategic target to grow into a versatile food company.
HKScan will hold 80 per cent of the now created joint venture and Vihannes-Laitila 20 per cent. New vegetable products will be manufactured at HKScan’s production unit in Eura, Finland. The joint venture will be responsible for the business of the new product category. HKScan also became one of the owners of Vihannes-Laitila with a small stake.
The collaboration aims to grow the vegetable market by developing product portfolio to meet the evolving needs of consumers. Within a year, the joint venture will launch fresh ready-to-use and ready-to-cook vegetable products with higher added value.
“The partnership with Finland's leading vegetable trading company is a natural part of our strategy to expand into new raw materials and product categories. The use of vegetables has been strongly growing and the added value of products has been on average very low. The new collaboration will provide an excellent platform to create added value for vegetable products, develop the selection and drive growth. Fresh vegetable products made from trusted raw materials will complement HKScan’s product portfolio consisting of a wide variety of meat products, meals and snacks", says HKScan's CEO Tero Hemmilä.
The vegetable market growing with fresh value-added products
Consumers are increasingly interested in wellbeing and for example, the volume of fresh vegetables sold in Finland has increased by 13 per cent in ten years. The growth is expected to remain strong. Finns eat an average of 66 kg of vegetables per person per year, but only some 20 per cent of Finns eat the recommended amounts of vegetables.
At present, most vegetables are sold fresh, with very low levels of added value. A significant proportion of vegetables are also sold as slightly more processed frozen products. In Finland, the market for fresh ready-to-use vegetable products for quick cooking is small in international comparison. HKScan and Vihannes-Laitila believe that an attractive range of products making consumers' everyday life easier will clearly grow the market.
“We believe we can grow the market by raising the added value of fresh vegetables. Interesting new fresh products with added value will make it easier and tastier for both the consumer and the food service sector to add vegetables to the diet”, says Jari Paavola, Managing Director at Vihannes-Laitila Oy.
Vihannes-Laitila is Finland's leading vegetable trading company with net sales of EUR 36 million in 2021, employing around 100 people and owned by 80 farmers in the region of Southwest Finland.
Tero Hemmilä, CEO, tel. +358 10 570 2012
Jari Leija, EVP, Business Unit Finland, tel. +358 40 559 7213
HKScan Media Service Desk, tel. +358 10 570 5700 or email@example.com
Jari Paavola, Managing Director, tel. +358 500 784 060