Hortifrut and Alifrut to partially combine businesses - FreshFruitPortal.com

Hortifrut and Alifrut to combine frozen products businesses

Hortifrut, a leading producer and marketer of fresh and frozen berries, and Alifrut, a leading producer of frozen fruits and vegetables in Chile, are to combine their respective frozen products businesses.

The two Chile-headquartered companies announced on Tuesday they had signed an agreement for the production, worldwide distribution and marketing of value-added products.

The transaction includes the transfer of five frozen production plants, as well as their respective fixed assets, to the new company, which will begin producing and marketing 35,000 metric tons (MT) of frozen products.

This production volume will make it the largest Chilean exporting company in its category and a relevant player in the international markets.

This new association will leverage Hortifrut's direct distribution to customers through its global commercial platforms and Alifrut's industrial and commercial expertise as a multi-product frozen processor.

This will ensure food safety along the business value chain, more stable supply and a varied multi-product offering for its customers worldwide. Additionally, the new company will be well-positioned to execute on its plans for developing new flavors, packaging designs, recipes and personalized nutrition attributes to meet the growing global demand.

The immediate investment plans of the new company include an expansion in Peru to boost exports and leverage the synergies due to Hortifrut’s significant presence there.

There are also plans in Chile to increase production and logistics efficiency, as well as profitability of the productive plants, and strengthening the existing Hortifrut commercial platform in the U.S., in order to reach more customers with a wider range of products.

 “Thanks to this partnership, Hortifrut consolidates and strengthens its leadership as a global business platform, complementing its offer of value-added products through this integration with Alifrut, the leading company of frozen fruit and vegetables in Chile,” said Juan Ignacio Allende, CEO of Hortifrut.

“Our dream and our goal is to become world leaders in healthy, innovative and value-added food solutions."

Due to the increasing global demand for a healthier diet and convenient, easy-to-prepare or consume products, there are significant growth opportunities within the value-added frozen fruits and vegetables category.

"For Alifrut, this is a key strategic step that will allow us to improve our exporting business value chain, and strengthen the international projection of the company," Gonzalo Bachelet, CEO of Alifrut stated.

"In that sense, this merger will allow us to directly serve the main customers in the world and thus meet the specific needs of new consumer trends, such as fruit and vegetables mixes, smoothies, new flavors, packaging designs, recipes, and personalized nutrition atributes, among other innovations."

 This partnership is in line with Hortifrut's strategy of a year-round supply to its more than 500 global clients, and to continue growing through the incorporation of partners that share common values and vision, adding value to its global business platform.