Annies – a well-known and well-loved local Marlborough brand – has been given a new chance at life by its original owner Graeme Giles. Kono NZ announced in December 2022 that it would be closing the business, which manufactures and sells dried fruit snacks, as part of a strategic reset. After the Kono announcement, Graeme and his family offered to purchase the business back.
Graeme, along with his wife Annie, are the original owners of the fruit bar business, and are hugely passionate about continuing their legacy by further developing the brand. Graeme said “With the history of the brand and as the owners of the factory building, we felt we could not walk away. We negotiated a purchase of all equipment, brand and IP and this put Annies back in the original ownership. The “New Generation” of Annies owners include our daughter Cabie, her husband Dan, and our grandchildren Thomas and Freya. They will be the face of the brand with Annies support in the background. After six generations (130 years) on the property, the passion to retain and grow the brand is foremost. Spreading the load is also important. We are excited to have Ant Moore and family (Ant Moore Wine and Marl Vintners) join us in the venture as partners.
“We are extremely passionate about the ongoing potential for the iconic natural fruit bars with no additives and no allergenic properties. They have been the go-to snacks for three generations of mums, and retailers are supportive of Annies and its continuation. We already have several exciting projects underway, looking at new lines and products.”
So watch this space, and keep an eye out for the “New Generation” of Annies products.
Kono NZ COO Andy Wotton said everyone was delighted to see the Annies brand continue and wish the Giles family every success. “This is a wonderful outcome. The Giles family is the landlord of the Annies factory so this will be a smooth transition for them. They’ll be able to make continued use of the equipment and machinery; customers will be delighted that Annies products will still be available. We understand some of the original staff may even return to the Annies factory to lend a hand as Graeme gets started. It’s a good news story all round.”