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Golden State Foods takes majority stake of N.Z. condiment maker

The Irvine-based fast-food service supplier strengthens its standing in the South Pacific

by Gabriel CortésPublished: February 07, 2013 08:45 AM

Fast-food service giant Golden State Foods (GSF) has taken majority ownership of Groenz Group Limited, a condiment manufacturer based in Wellington, New Zealand. GSF produces and distributes liquid condiments, beef products, and other goods for quick service and fast food restaurant chains, and it already provides produce for chains like KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell that operate throughout the world, including the South Pacific region. The Irvine-based company’s acquisition of Groenz, however, will greatly strengthen its growing presence in Oceania.

Groenz has been operating in New Zealand and Australia for more than 35 years, and it produces its condiments under three main brands: the French Maid, Kiwi Style and In-House Systems. Each brand is targeted toward a different market segment, from casual in-home chefs to restaurants that must buy in bulk, and while GSF has taken majority control of Groenz and its brands, both groups assert that the new partnership is a joint venture.

“Groenz brings a tremendous reputation for service and product innovation, which will greatly enhance our product offerings and service to our customers,” said Mark Wetterau, chairman and CEO of Golden State Foods.

Speaking of the acquisition, Fred Groen, managing director of Groenz, emphasized the new resources and market reach that will be available to the company now that it has joined forces with GSF.

“The Groen family is very happy to have forged this partnership with Golden State Foods,” he said. “The company has grown to a point where we needed a substantial trade partner to further expand, and we found that partner with GSF. ”

Domestically, GSF is best known for its long-standing partnership with McDonald’s, which began in mid-1960s. GSF helped McDonald’s develop the sauce for the Big Mac, and it soon became a heavyweight in the liquid condiment industry. Today, it is still the largest supplier of liquid goods and produce for McDonald’s, and it is the restaurant’s third largest beef supplier. GSF’s other North American clients include Arby’s, Carl’s Jr., Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, Dairy Queen, and Starbucks, among many others.

Internationally, GSF operates a production facility in Egypt, as well as two produce processing plants in Australia and another in New Zealand, and it serves restaurant chains on all six continents.

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