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Hellers snaps up ‘Sticky Ribs’ creator


(L to R) Flavour House Managing Director Grant Titheridge, Marketing Director Brian Olorenshaw and Hellers Chief Executive John McWhirter at the Flavour House production line.

Hellers, ‘NZ’s Butcher’ has bought Christchurch-based specialist food company Flavour House. The acquisition follows a five-year relationship between the two companies, which started with the creation of a marinade for the Hellers ‘sweet and sticky’ pork ribs.

More recently Flavour House, also known as Gramart Foods Limited, has provided sauces for My Main Course, a range of pre-prepared meal ingredients which was successfully launched late last year.

Hellers Chief Executive John McWhirter said the acquisition was in line with the company’s strategy of investing in aligned food businesses. “Hellers has no plans to change the Flavour House recipe for success, which already has a great track record in the area of value add food. We know that our combined businesses will be greater than the sum of the parts.”

Flavour House produces a number of sauces, marinades, jams, vinegars, oils and drinks both with its own brand and also for a number of well-known New Zealand brands. “In effect they produce products and key ingredients which are at the heart of a number of successful product ranges sold in New Zealand,” McWhirter said.

“Hellers has come a long way since its small local butchery days, but the heart of the business has always been about product diversity and developing recipes and tastes that match emerging food trends. Where we’re going with product ranges like My Main Course is into the pre-prepared, convenience foods category, so we see tremendous opportunity for Flavour House as a centre for food innovation.”

Flavour House, like Hellers, was started as a family owned company, started by the Titheridge family in 2001 as Gramart Foods Limited. Today, it employs 12 staff. Flavour House Managing Director Grant Titheridge said the company had built a strong collaborative relationship with Hellers since 2012.

“While we weren’t actively looking to sell the business, we recognize that Hellers shares a number of our values, our focus on innovation and our commitment to producing quality food. We also see a number of opportunities to expand our product range via the Hellers market network and as part of the larger Hellers group.”