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Sill Enterprises wants Knorr in France

The company has made an offer to Unilever for the field of the liquid soups

Sill Entreprises, a French company based in Plouvien, Brittany, specializing in dairy products, soups and frozen products, made an offer to Unilever for the purchase of its Knorr liquid soup business in France. For the moment, the financial details of the offer have not been disclosed, nor the expected date for the decision on the proposed transaction.

Sill, however, seems to be interested only in the branch of soups: if the operation went to the door other products sold under the Knorr brand in France, such as nuts and pots for broth, dips, instant soups and pasta, would remain under the wing of Unilever. In France, the British multinational Unilever closed its factory in Duppigheim, in the north-east, in 2021, following a drop in demand for ready-made soups and sauces.

Founded in 1962 in Brittany, France, Sill Entreprises already operates in the French soup market under the brand La Potagère: in 2022 it started a partnership with Unilever to produce some of Knorr’s liquid soups. In addition to soups, the group’s portfolio also includes dairy products such as Malo and Le Petit Basque yoghurt, Le Gall creams and butters, Grandeur Nature cream cheese and Vitalae formula. The company also produces frozen ready meals, puff pastry and appetizers, under the brands Primel Traiteur and La Compagnie Artique.

Angela Mejia, ceo of Unilever Nutrition in France, said the company is still "very committed to supporting Knorr. Regarding the specific sector of liquid soups, adds Mejia-, we believe that, if the decision is made, Sill Entreprises will be the best actor to deal with these products in the future and gradually integrate them into its portfolio of activities".

In a LinkedIn post, Sill ceo Sébastien Floc'h said that "this transaction should enable Sill Entreprises to consolidate and develop its positions in the market for liquid soups in France and, more generally, in plant products, which are an integral part of our development strategy. The partnership with Unilever has allowed both parties to build an industrial relationship of trust: hence the desire to acquire the liquid soup business.

"By integrating these Knorr branded products into our group -adds Floc'h-, we would remain true to the commitments and values of the Sill Entreprises group, namely to offer a healthy and balanced and sustainable gourmet diet to the whole family, ensuring the quality of products, respect the authenticity of the recipes, support the plant chains anchored to the territory, preserve the planet".

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EFA News - European Food Agency