Kerry’s Food Preservation Game

Meat production has a significant environmental impact, producing greenhouse gas emissions. Land used for meat production is increasingly encroaching on wild habitats, opening the door for pathogens to spread to domestic animals and humans. Think of swine flu and avian flu. We do not yet know how or where Covid-19 originated.

And there is growing consumer concern about food safety – around 700 million people fall ill every year from eating unsafe food products – which has intensified since the emergence of Covid-19.

Making fresh meat last longer would – to some extent – stop some of these problems and could reduce the mountain of food waste produced each year. It is increasingly seen by the food industry as a way to reduce its carbon footprint and become more sustainable.

This is the backdrop to Kerry’s $853 million purchase of preservative maker Hare Topco, which operates as Niacet. While food preservation is already a priority for Kerry, the Niacet deal, announced yesterday, significantly increases its presence in the fast-growing sector.

The Irish company said the deal comes at a time of growing demand for longer-lasting food as consumers become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of waste.

He said Niacet had “clear leadership positions” in baking and pharmacy, and cost-effective low-sodium preservation systems for meat and plant-based foods. Niacet’s complementary capabilities would strengthen Kerry’s existing food protection and preservation strategy to bring new products and technologies to a broader market, he said.

Kerry’s calling card is to acquire companies with advanced food technologies that can be applied to a wider range of products. Last year, it bought Canadian probiotics company Bio-K Plus International and is integrating Bio-K’s suite of biotics into a new line of functional foods. The Niacet deal is the Irish food group’s latest play in this space, while also exiting legacy businesses, with the sale of its UK and Ireland consumer food meats and meals businesses announced at the press release. end of last week.