Located, on one hand, in Switzerland and, on the other, in Italy, both produce ready-to-eat salads

Grupo Alimentario Citrus strengthens its international strategy with the acquisition of two new plants in Europe

Valencia, March 13 2019

Valencia, 13th March 2019.- Grupo Alimentario Citrus (GAC) has acquired two companies, both specialists in producing ready-to-eat salads, with a branch in Switzerland and another in Italy. This operation adds to the acquisition of the German company Thurländer last October and is encompassed in the growth and internationalization plan that was put in motion by GAC in 2015. Following this double acquisition, the group strengthens its position in the European market of ready-to-eat products, one of the company's strategic business areas.

The acquired companies belong to the French co-operative group Agrial and are specialists in the production of ready-to-eat salads and fresh produce. The plant that is located in Hünenberg (Switzerland), close to Zurich, has 130 employees and reached a €24 million turnover in 2018. On the other hand, the Italian plant, located in Novara (close to Milan), employs 44 people and in the last calendar year had a €9.7million turnover.

We want to become the first choice for consumers when it comes to fresh, healthy produce and with this acquisition we can take our innovative capacity and our assortment to new markets and new consumers”, explained Rafael Boix, General Manager of Grupo Alimentario Citrus (GAC). “The new plants in Switzerland and Italy represent a milestone in our international growth plan and strengthen us in order to carry on growing even more sustainably”.

Following this operation, GAC guarantees staff stability and it will maintain the production for the Swiss and Italian markets, where both acquired companies supply the main distribution chains, as well as the Food Service and Horeca channels.

“We are going to work hard to make the most of the enormous potential that both the Swiss and Italian plants have, with their modern facilities and excellent locations”, Boix stated. “It's all about bring projects together; we'll drive both centres forward in terms of innovation, taking advantage of the immense knowledge of the local markets and their consumers, both teams have, to carry on growing side by side”, Boix confirmed.

GAC, the group now boasts 7 ready-to-eat processing plants: 4 of which are in Spain -Aranda de Duero (Burgos), Antequera (Málaga), Granadilla de Abona (Tenerife) and Ribarroja del Turia (Valencia)- and the other 3 are in Europe - Germany, Switzerland and Italy-. In total, they sum 65.000m2 of industrial surface with the latest technology in the processing and food safety field.

GAC, a leading agro-alimentary group in healthy foodstuff

Consolidated as a leading fresh, healthy produce manufacturer, as well as child nutrition products on the Spanish market, in 2015 GAC put a international diversification strategy in motion, aiming to keep on growing with new customers, new channels and new markets. As a result, nowadays their products reach over 40 customers in over 30 countries all around the world and international sales make up almost 30% of the group's total turnover.

In 2017 the company launched its brand for ready-to-eat products, Sun&Vegs, in Spain and Portugal and started to market an adapted assortment, for the Horeca channel and vending in order to offer more options to consumers that want to follow a balanced diet with products to allow them to enjoy their daily lives, anytime, anywhere.

Photography 1: Factory facilities located in Hünenberg (Switzerland)
Photography 2:Factory facilities located in Novara (Italy)