Katjes acquires Piasten to enter growing sugar coated candy market

Sugar coated confectionery posied for growth, says Piasten's new owner Katjes

Katjes has acquired a 100% stake in fellow German confectioner Piasten as it looks to capitalize on the rising sugar coated confectionery market.

“We bought the firm because they are a leader in sugar coated products,” Stephan Milde, CFO of Katjes told ConfectioneryNews.

“We are looking at market data and see that the sugar coated confectionery market is growing. I believe it is growing because it fits into today’s consumption habits as they are a snacking product.”

Coated products

Piasten’s main brands are chocolate bean product Schokolinsen and chocolate-coated nut brand Big Ben.  Its other sugar coated confections include chocolate coated popcorn brand Big Pop and chocolate-covered fruit brand Queeny’s.

Katjes’ existing sugar confectionery portfolio features mainly fruit gums and licorice products and it does not own any sugar coated confectionery brands.

Euromonitor International does not track the sugar coated confectionery (dragées) market specifically, but forecasts that the overall sugar confectionery market will grow from $62.6bn in 2014 to $81.9bn by 2019.

Piasten management remains

Milde said that Piasten was market leader in the German dragées segment. The company posted net sales of €91.6m ($116m) in the past fiscal year and it employs 395 at its plant in Forchheim near Nuremberg.

Piasten will remain an independent entity and will continue to be run by the existing management team. Piasten managers grouped together to buy the business from Cadbury in 2005.

The company continues to distribute some Cadbury products such as Curly Wurly and Wunderbar. Milde said that these contracts would continue under Katjes.

Katjes previously acquired French fruit gums brand Lutti in 2011. It also acquired 90% of Cloetta’s Belgian distribution business in 2012. Katjes International recorded sales of € 120-125m ($152-158m) in fiscal 2014.

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