Associated British Foods plc

From WikiCorporates
(Redirected from ACH Food Companies Inc)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

ABF is a British multi-national food processing and retailing company, with operations across 50 countries and sales in more than 100.p.65
ABF's business operates through 5 divisions:

  • 48.4%: § Retail: Primark has ~345 stores across Europe and the USA.
  • 22.1%: § Grocery: a major manufacturer of both branded and private label grocery products.
  • 20%: § Sugar: one of the world's largest sugar producers.
  •  ??%: § Agriculture: AB Agri is a group which operates across the entire food supply chain.
  • 9.5%: § Ingredients: the world's 2nd-largest producer of both sugar and baker's yeast, and a major producer of other ingredients including emulsifiers, enzymes and lactose.
WRAP-UK-Plastics-Pact.svg Signatory to WRAP's voluntary, sanction-free Plastics Pact initiative, that proposes creating a circular economy for plastics by reduce packaging and tackling food waste. Strangely, the Pact does not apply to the products themselves.



Total float: 43.6%
Source: MarketScreener.svg, Mar.2020; Annual Report and Accounts, Associated British Foods plc, Sept.15.2018

Corporate Grouping

  • 58.5%: Trustees of the Garfield Weston Foundation + Weston Family members

  • Primark Stores Ltd,
  • British Sugar plc, OpenCorporates-sm.svg
    • 100%: AB Sugar Africa Ltd, holdco
    • 50%: British Beet Research Organisation, a JV with National Farmers Union Sugar.[1] Research for the UK sugar beet industry; non-profit, commissions and implements research and technology transfer designed to increase the competitiveness and profitability of the UK beet sugar industry. Founded in Sept.2000. OpenCorporates-sm.svg,
    • 100%: The Billington Food Group Ltd
    • 100%: Wereham Gravel Company Ltd, growing of sugar beet,
    • 42.5%: C Czarnikow Ltd, sugar and ethanol trading,
    • 40%: Proper Nutty Ltd, food manufacturer
    • 30%: Sukpak Ltd (Mauritius), sugar packaging
  • Food Investments Ltd t/a "Germains Seed Technology", a division of ABF Grain Products Ltd, OpenCorporates-sm.svg
  • Vivergo Fuels Ltd, OpenCorporates-sm.svg
  • AB Sugar is a division of British Sugar plc
  • Jun.2016: ABF acquired full ownership of Illovo Sugar and Azucarera.
  • Illovo Sugar owns 76% of Zambia Sugar's shares (as at Nov.2018)

  • List of subsidiaries, p.150 (long).
  • See Wittington InvestmentsOpenCorporates-sm.svg re subsids.
  • Joint ventures: p.156 (and also see Wittington's a/cs)
ToDo: ABF Grain Products Ltd, OpenCorporates-sm.svg,, B'berg,

ABF Grain Products Ltd ... the trading businesses that sit within the company include The Allied Milling and Baking Group; The Jordans & Ryvita Company; Germains; Speedibake and Westmill Foods, most of which also form part of the UK Grocery Division of Associated British Foods. ref



Primark, also known as Penneys in Ireland, is a major fast-fashioin retail group, headquartered in Dublin. It operates ~360 stores in 11 countries across Europe and the USA.

Primark sells a huge range of licensed products; its range includes womenswear, lingerie, childrenswear, menswear, footwear, accessories, hosiery and homeware. Sales in 2018 were increasingly driven by the use of social media; and licensed products made a huge contribution. Website, About, Business, (ABF AR-2018, p.44)


AB Agri markets products and services in 65+ countries worldwide, to farmers, feed and food manufacturers, processors and retailers. It also buys grain from farmers and supplies crop inputs through its joint venture Frontier Agriculture with Cargill plc, which also trades in grains and crop inputs.AR-2018,p.30 Website
  • 28 production sites in the UK.
  • Agrokorn: acquired in Spring.2016; a Danish speciality protein business (p.32).
  • AB Vista: feed enzymes, phytase.
  • Amur: anaerobic digestion business based in Yorkshire, turns food waste into bio-methane gas.

Frontier Agriculture Ltd

Frontier Agriculture, formed in 2005, is a joint venture between Associated British Foods and Cargill plc. Frontier has 44 sites across the UK, and supplies seed, crop protection products and fertiliser to farmers. Frontier's grain marketing business has contracts with key grain consumers. Frontier has a number of divisions providing additional specialist agronomy advice to growers; these include SOYL precision crop production, and Kings who are experts on game cover, conservation crops, green cover and forage crops., About, Frontier AgricultureWikipedia-W.svg

AB Sugar

AB Sugar is a group of 6 businesses, operating 24 plants in 10 countries, producing sugar, ethanol, and sugar-derived co-products. Products are sold into industry sectors including food and drink, pharmaceutical, industrial, agricultural and horticultural, power and energy.ref Website, About, Business, AR-2018, p.22
  • Flag-Spain.svg Azucarera (Spain): the major producer in the EU. Profitability has been impacted by the removal of EU sugar quotas in Oct.2017. Website
  • Flag-UK.svg British Sugar plc is the sole processor of the UK's sugar beet crop, with 4 sugar production plants in Bury St Edmunds, Newark, Cantley, Wissington.
    Cannabis Production: British Sugar is a supplier of cannabis to GW Pharmaceuticals plc,ref grown at various UK cannabis production facilities. Website.arch,,, About, History.
  • Flag-South-Africa.svg Illovo Sugar Africa (Southern Africa): the largest sugar processor in Africa, with operations in 6 African countries. Produces raw and refined sugar from sugar cane supplied by its own agricultural operations and independent outgrowers. High-value products manufactured downstream are sold internationally into niche markets. Website,,, Overview, Governance, Investors
    • 25 Zambia Sugar plc generated profits of $123m, but paid “virtually no corporate tax”.[1] Website
    • Shady-Deals.svg
      Illovo Sugar Malawi has found itself in major trouble over falsifying financial statements,[2] assisted by their auditors KPMG who admitted that the audited accounts "were misleading".[3]
  • Flag-China.svg AB Sugar China: two beet sugar factories in north China.
  • Germains Seed Technology (Europe/USA): seed treatment and "enhancement". Germains specialises in Prime, Pellet, Filmcoat and Health. Germains (UK) Ltd was acquired in 1990. All seed treatment divisions in the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, UK and US were acquired and brought under a single unified name; Germain’s Technology Group. Why Use Seed Treatments, Website, About, History
  • Vivergo Fuels processes feed-grade wheat to produce bioethanol and animal feed. Formed in 2007 as a joint venture between AB Sugar, BP and Du Pont to create a Biofuels Business. In 2015, AB Sugar acquired BPs share; and in 2017 it acquired Du Pont's share. Operations at the Hull factory were closed down in Oct.2018.[4] E10: a transport fuel consisting of unleaded petrol blended with 10% bioethanol. Website, About, History, Shareholders, Renewable Energy
  • Making Sense of Sugar: a propaganda website run by AB Sugar. Beautifully crafted prose, oh-so-carefully designed to side-step common-sense arguments. Completely and utterly fails to mention the world of difference between processed/refined sugar and eg. the fructose eaten with an apple. Their "useful links" page is the cherry on top, pointing to the British Soft Drinks Association, the Food and Drink Federation, etc. Website

ABF Ingredients

ABF Ingredients consists of two divisions: Yeast & Bakery Ingredients, a family of companies acquired over the years, and Speciality Ingredients, which comprises 5 businesses that supply ingredients to food and non-food manufacturers for feed, pharmaceutical and industrial applications. ABF Website, Group companies, Products, (ABF AR-2018 p.36)
  • Yeast & Bakery ingredients
  • AB Mauri sells yeast under the § Fleischmann’s Yeast brand name, bread improvers, dough conditioners, mould inhibitors, bakery mixes, bakers' yeast, leaveners, vinegars, malts, syrups, acidulants under the AB Mauri Bakery Ingredients brand name. It was formed in 2004 as a division of ABF; it has 52 plants in 32 countries.ref Website,,,, Website, Group,,,
  • Speciality ingredients
  • AB Enzymes is an industrial biotech company, selling protease enzyme products for protein hydrolysis and modifications. Website
  • Abitec Corporation develops and manufactures specialty lipids, esters, alkoxylates, amides and sulphur-based quaternary compounds.Website
  • Ohly: yeast extracts and seasoning powders, as well as yeast extract based nutrient mixes to increase strain yields in the fermentation industry. ABF page, Website
  • PGP International: extruded ingredients and speciality rice flours. Main focus is extruded crisps for the cereal, energy and nutritional bar sector, made from soy, pea and rice protein, quinoa, and sorghum. History, Webpage, Website
  • SPI Pharma: pharmaceutical excipients and antacids, including antacid actives, taste masking technology, drug delivery systems and fast dissolving products. Webpage, Website


Grocery comprises consumer-facing businesses that manufacture and markets a variety of well-known food brands both nationally and internationally.
The business sells a huge range of licensed products, covering global brands such as Warner Bros, Disney and Marvel; major TV series such as Love Island and Game Of Thrones; classic superbands such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones; and leading computer games. Grocery Brands


Acetum, trading under the Casa Mazzetti and Fini brands, is an Italian manufacturer and distributor of balsamic vinegar, based in Modena, Italy. ABF acquired an 80% stake in the business in Oct.2017 from Clessidra Capital Partners†; its founders, Cesare Mazzetti and Marco Bombarda, retained 20%.ref,ref Website
† Clessidra is the private equity arm of holding company Italmobiliare SpA,[2] controlled by the Italian Pesenti family.[3][4]

AB Sports Nutrition

AB Sports Nutrition is the business name for High5 and Reflex Nutrition (AR-2017, pp.15,16) HIGH5 and Reflex Nutrition are recently acquired brands in the sports nutrition sector.ref Website
  • High5 Sports Nutrition produces and sells research-driven sports nutrition bars, powders and gels. Founded by triathletes Timothy and Michael Atkinson in Feb.1995; acquired by ABF Grain Products Ltd in Feb.2017. CH Website
  • Reflex Nutrition, manufacture and wholesale supply of sports supplements products. Founded in Dec.1996 by Dean and Marlene Brandt; acquired by ABF Grain Products Ltd in Nov.2017. CH, Website

Twinings Ovaltine

Twinings Ovaltine sells premium teas and malted beverages in 100+ countries.
  • Twinings: Thomas Twining opened the first dry tea shop in 1706, going against the tide at a time when coffee houses were popular. Later on, the company was an early maker of tea bags and flavoured teas. Today, Twinings sells teas in 100+ countries, with manufacturing sites in 4 (UK, Poland, India and China). Twinings does not grow tea itself; it buys in teas and blends them.ref About, History,,
  • Ovaltine: the Ovaltine story began in 1904, in a Swiss laboratory with a Swiss chemist by the name of Dr George Wander. Dr Wander was investigating the nutritional qualities of barley malt, and discovered that barley malt was full of complex carbohydrates and naturally-occurring vitamins. He decided to combine the barley malt with other nutritious ingredients like milk, egg, and cocoa - the result of this combination was named Ovaltine. Website > Website, article, OvaltineWikipedia-W.svg

AB World Foods

AB World Foods focuses on the creation and development of world flavours. Website, Group, Brands, UK Hub, About, Distributing, CH
  • Levi Roots' Reggae Reggae Sauce is a jerk barbecue sauce, with a spicy Caribbean flavour. Reggae musician Keith Graham gained funding for his sauce on Dragons' Den; he hasn't looked back since. Website, Reggae Reggae SauceWikipedia-W.svg
  • Patak's, an Indian-style curry paste sauces and spices, was founded by a husband and wife team in 1955, who started up making samosas in their kitchen.ref ABF acquired the business in May.2007.ref,, Founding family sells Patak's (2007)
  • Blue Dragon is a range of Asian condiments, ingredients, noodles and sauces. In 1977, G Costa & Co Ltd launched a small range (5) of imported products with recipes and instructions, named after the Chinese symbol of good fortune.ref Website Acquired by AB World Foods in ??
  • Meena's Spices: seems to have gone by the board. Mentioned in the accounts and on the website, but nothing to be found on the web.
  • McIlhenny Tabasco Sauce is to die for. Produced by the McIlhenny Company in Louisiana since 1868, the process is laborious and time-consuming, but eminently worth-while. Website, History, Food Service, interesting article, Tabasco-sauceWikipedia-W.svg
  • Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, a world leader in vanilla extracts, with Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract leading the product list. Founded in 1907 by a cleaning chemical aromas manufacturing company.ref Website
  • Cattlemen's Barbecue Sauce was originally introduced in 1950 as French's Barbeque Sauce, and re-introduced as Cattlemen's in 1963.ref Acquired by McCormick & Company Inc in Aug.2017 from Reckitt Benckiser.ref
  • French's Mustard was created by Robert Timothy French, and made its debut at the 1904 St Louis World's Fair. Acquired by McCormick & Company Inc in Aug.2017 from Reckitt Benckiser.ref,ref,ref Webpage
  • Maille Mustard originated in Paris in 1747. The Maille family were official suppliers to the court of Louis XV.ref Owned by Unilever since 2000.ref
  • † ABF is the distributor for these brands.

ACH Food Companies

ACH Foods is a diverse speciality food ingredients business. Initially focused on manufacturing and selling edible oils through commercial and food service channels, ACH built up its consumer-branded and foodservice customer bases.ref Website, ACH FoodService

  • Mazola corn oil harks back to 1911. Acquired from Unilever in Apr.2002. In 2017, ABF sponsored a study which found that corn oil reduced low-density lipoprotein cholesterol by almost 11%, against 3.5% for olive oil. The findings were showcased in respected scientific journals to transform perceptions of corn oil (AR-2018, p.19).,, About, Products ?Are Edible Oils the European distributor? See Edible Oils Ltd
  • Capullo is a premium canola oil in Mexico. Website
  • Inca Shortening, a shortening brand in Mexico.
  • Karo corn syrup was introduced in 1902. Website, About Us, About
  • Purlite cooking oil
  • Golden Griddle Syrups
  • Argo Corn Starch was introduced in 1892. Website, About Us, About, FoodService
  • Kingsfords Corn Starch
  • Henri's Dressing,
  • Fleischmann's Yeast: the Fleischmann brothers produced and patented a compressed yeast cake, which they presented in 1876 at Philadelphia’s Centennial Exposition. The rest is history. Fleischmanns is a registered trademark of AB Mauri Food Inc. ref Foodservice >> AB Mauri, Fleischmann's YeastWikipedia-W.svg
    Consumer websites: Breadworld, Simply Homemade, History

Westmill Foods Ltd

Westmill Foods specialises in ethnic foods including rice, spices, sauces, oils, flour and noodles. Established in 1988, Westmill Foods has grown to become one of the largest flour, rice, spice, sauce, edible oil, and noodle suppliers to the UK and European ethnic wholesaler market, food service, industrial sectors and grocery supermarkets. website, Company, Brands, Allergens, article, CH, OC, OC search Current product lists are here.
  • Rajah spices and seasonings provides Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi consumers with whole, ground and blended spices and seasonings. Founded in 1931 by a former Indian Army officer, who opened a small shop in London called the "Bombay Emporium". ™ BE International Foods Ltd.
  • Lucky Boat Noodles In 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen set sail from China operating under a single order from their emperor Zhu Di: “To proceed all the way to the end of the world”. Lucky Boat is inspired by this magnificent voyage and honours its brave warriors, navigators and the Chinese Emperor’s quest. ™ ABF Grain Products Ltd ref Website
  • Elephant Atta, a premium chapatti flour, was launched in the UK in 1962 for the growing South Asian community. ™ ABF Grain Products Ltd ref. Website
  • Asli Atta was launched in 1990, and provides the UK Asian community with chapatti flours for the creation of traditional breads. Website
  • Asli Golden Sella Basmati Rice was launched in 2000, and is a well-established brand of easy-cook Basmati rice. ™ Food Investments Ltd. Website
  • Green Dragon was established in the UK in 1968, and is a leader in the ethnic market for both Thai fragrant rice and Chinese flour. Red Dragon is a Spanish long-grain rice, targeting commercial users. ™ BE International Foods Ltd (1996). Website
  • Guru Basmati Rice is one of the best-selling brands of Basmati rice in the UK. ™ Food Investments Ltd, 1993. Website
  • Habib Basmati Rice is grown in the foothills of the Himalayas. ™ Food Investments Ltd. Website
  • Pride Cooking Oils was established in 1974 in East London. It offers a range of oils, canned goods and sauces, for consumers, restaurants and takeaways. ™ Pride Oils plc ref. Website
  • Tolly Boy long grain rice brand was established in 1962.™ ABF Grain Products Ltd (1965).
  • Amoy soy sauce began production in 1908, in Xiamen, China. Ajinomoto Company Inc. Westmill website, UK website, Products, History.
  • Daawat Basmati Rice, ™ LT Foods. Westmill page, Website, History, Brands
  • Jimmy's Saté Sauce has been prepared from an authentic Malaysian recipe using chillies and various oriental spices since 1972. ref Website. ™ Hong Kong Chun On Foods Factory ref
  • HP Sauce was invented and developed by F.G. Garton, a grocer from Nottingham, who began marketing it in 1903. H J Heinz Foods UK Ltd, 1999.
  • Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce was first sold in 1837 in the UK.[5] Acquired by Heinz in 2005.[6] Westmill page,, History. ™ Lea & Perrins Ltd, ref.
  • Stokely's Corn was established in 1898, and provides sweet corn products. Chiquita Brands International Webpage
  • Ma Ling luncheon meats, China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation.
  • Lotus Brand: bamboo shoots, 5-spice powder, chilli oil and monosodium glutamate. Ajinomoto Company Inc.
  • Knorr halal stock cubes. Unilever.
  • † ABF is the distributor for these brands.

Allied Milling & Baking

Allied Bakeries and Allied Mills together make up Allied Milling & Baking. Allied Mills buys wheat from around the world and processes it to produce flour and semolina, which Allied Bakeries uses to produce a range of bakery products. During the 1930s, Allied revolutionised the British bread market as the first manufacturer to introduce pre-sliced wrapped loaves. An important contributor to Allied's revenues is its private label business, supplying own brand loaves to grocery retailers. Its biggest customer for several years was Tesco, but in a serious blow to the business, that contract will end in 2020.ref Interesting article here (1980); another here (2012) and here, and here (2018). History, Website, About, Website
  • Kingsmill, launched in 1989, was the UK's first premium sliced bread. Website
  • Sunblest was Allied Bakeries' key brand between 1940s - 1970s. A 1962 Sunblest promo film "Our Daily Bread" from the British Pathé archive, Reel 1, Reel 2. Website Grace's Guide
  • Allinson's bread and flour. In 1892, Dr Thomas Allinson opened a flour mill, "Natural Food Company", to ensure that bakers had access to top-quality wholemeal flour. In 1935, Willard Garfield Weston merged the company with 6 others, resulting in Allied Bakeries. History, Website
  • Burgen is ABF's "healthy" bread range, and was launched in 1997 with a "Soya & Linseed" loaf. Website
  • Speedibake specialises in own-label baked goods for retail and foodservice customers. Website Workers strike article

Jordans, Dorset and Ryvita

Jordans, Dorset and Ryvita Company operates in the better-for-you cereal and savoury biscuits categories. The company manufactures ~30 organic, wholegrain breakfast cereals and health bars across 4 manufacturing sites in the UK. Exports to Europe, Canada and Australia account for ~33% of sales.ref Website
  • Ryvita was founded in 1925, and was initially based on imports from Sweden; manufacturing in the UK started in 1932. Garfield Weston bought the company in 1949, and it then became part of ABF.[7] The rye is grown and harvested in the UK, where the final product is also made. Today, Ryvita is exported world-wide to 70+ countries.[8] Website
  • Jordans was founded in the late 1960s by brothers Bill and David Jordan.[9] ABF acquired a 20% stake in Sept.2007,[10] which led to ABF increasing its stake to 62% and Jordans being merged with ABF's Ryvita business in Jun.2008.[11] Jordans has grown to the point where they now manufacture 24:7, around the clock.[12] Website
  • Dorset Cereals was founded in 1989 as an alternative to the "rabbit food" options on the market.[13] In Apr.2005, private equity firm Langholm Capital Partners took it over via an MBI. Langholm rebranded the firm, repositioned its marketing, and a new packaging plant was built.[14] In Mar.2008, Langholm sold Dorset to Erbium Capital's Wellness Foods.[15] In Oct.2014, ABF Grain Products Ltd bought the firm.[16] Website

Silver Spoon & Billingtons

Silver Spoon and Billington's are ABF's two retail sugar brands in the UK, complemented by a range of dessert toppings and syrups under the Askeys and Crusha brands.
  • Silver Spoon Sugar was born in 1972 as the retail brand of British Sugar. History.arch, About, Business, Products, Website
  • Baking Mad is a "one stop shop" for baking inspiration, ideas and tips. Website
  • Allinson Flour: Website
  • Askeys, maker of wafers and cones, was founded in 1910 when Laurens Tedeschi brought the ice cream cornet to the UK. About, Business, Website
  • Billingtons imports unrefined cane sugars from a number of countries, primarily Mauritius. The company started as Edward Billington and Son Ltd in 1858 in Liverpool as a family trading company; it was acquired by British Sugar plc in May.2004.ref History, Website
  • Crusha is a brand of flavoured milkshake syrups. It was launched in the 1950s as a specialist Foodservice brand. Acquired by the Silver Spoon Company in Dec.2001. Website
  • Proper Nutty Ltd is an artisan peanut butter company. Since Feb.2017, British Sugar plc has held 100% of Proper Nutty's B shares. CH, Website,
  • Truvía is a low-calorie sweetener, derived from the stevia plant. Cargill Inc.
  • † ABF is the distributor for these brands.

George Weston Foods Ltd

George Weston Foods is structured into 4 businesses in Australia and New Zealand, covering a range of activities including manufacturing, marketing, selling and distributing products.,, See also Grace's Guide, "Weston Foods Ltd" at CH.


ABF started as a bakery in Canada in the 1890s. It grew first as a worldwide bakery group and then, in the 1960s, diversified. In the 1970s financial crisis, the company split into two and the UK arm became ABF. Gary Weston, the CEO and a member of the founding Weston family, then built ABF through a series of acquisitions and disposals.ref,p.32

ToDo † link, search for ABF

link, History #1, History #2, About Us, Our History, Group Overview, Our Businesses, Our Grocery Brands, Grocery Brands subsection, Annual Report, AR-2017, see also "Effective Leadership..." on p.60, CH, PSC, OC, The Guardian, See also Allied Jobs (not much info there tho)

ToDo: Links to go through: Real Bread campaign, Boycot Halal, Sunblest Allied Bakeries, Excellent overview from Harvard BS (2011)

  • Oct.2018: shut down operations at Vivergo, AB Sugar’s bioethanol plant in Hull.
  • Sept.2018: Completed the acquisition of Yumi’s Quality Foods, an Australian manufacturer of chilled dips and snacks. Yumi’s was founded by the Friedman brothers Benjamin (Yumi) and his brother Michael, both of whom will remain in the business, which specialises in dairy- and gluten-free dips, aioli, vegetarian snacks, mayonnaise and smoked fish for everyday consumption and entertaining.
  • Jun.2018: Holgran, a supplier of malted grains, and Fleming Howden, an Edinburgh-based blender and distributor of bakery ingredients, were acquired by the UK Ingredients business. AB Agri acquired a small aerial survey and informatics company based in the UK.
  • Oct.2017: Acetum SpA, the leading Italian producer of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, was acquired.[17] Founded by Cesare Mazzetti and Marco Bombarda. Acetum operates 5 high-quality manufacturing sites in the Emilia Romagna region, and is the global leader in balsamic vinegar, and one of the world’s leading producers of speciality vinegars for retail. These vinegars have been granted European Protected Geographical Indication status due to the unique nature of their production, their provenance and high quality. Website (There's a Vinegar Institute!)
  • 2017: Speciality Blending business, based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was acquired. The plant features multiple blending lines capable of handling whole-grain bread concentrates and sweet goods mixes. It also has a speciality mill of a scale suited for ancient and organic grains and custom blends.
  • Nov.2016: Kingsmill: 18 months after the last refresh, Kingsmill was given a new visual identity to help it keep up in the market as “sliced bread sales decline”.ref
  • Oct.2016: Cannabis: British sugar entered into a long-term contract to supply cannabis to GW Pharmaceuticals.ref The managing director's wife is Victoria Atkins, who was Drugs Minister at the time, and vigorously campaigned against any legal relaxation whatsoever, even to epileptic children. Nothing to do with negatively impacting profits.
  • Apr.2016: Silver Spoon: identity and packaging design updated due to changing consumer views around sugar. The quirky face is supposed to make the brand feel less like a commodity.ref
  • May.2015: Kingsmill: rebrand, to introduce consistency across the portfolio of products.ref
  • Jul.2013: Vivergo, a joint venture between BP, ABB and ABF ... biorefinery plant in Hull ...
  • Jul.2012: Elephant Atta was acquired by Westmill Foods from Premier Foods plc.ref
  • 2008: AB World Foods: the ‘bringing together’ of two successful branded food businesses formed AB World Foods.
  • 2008: ABF acquired a majority stake in Jordans, and merged with with Ryvita.
  • 2008: ACH Food Companies Inc merged with Stratas Foods LLC, owned by Archer-Daniels-Midland Company, who also sold edible oils. ACH Company merged its edible oil brands with those of Archer Daniels. Together they introduced new brands, and private labels were formed. Over the next few years, the company focused on improving its popular brands and acquiring many more companies. With this, it started to grow and expand more rapidly with new branches in Canada and Puerto Rico as well as other states in the US.
  • May.2007: Patak's was acquired by ABF.ref See here for some background. Patak'sWikipedia-W.svg
  • 2007: Kingsmill: rebrand by Vibrant, which saw more colourful packaging and a logo incorporating sunshine introduced.ref
  • Nov.2004: AB Mauri was formed as a new operating division from the yeast and bakery ingredients businesses which ABF had acquired, including those from Burns, Philp & Company Ltd (Australia), Sohovos (Brazil), DSM (Europe), and Innovative Cereal Systems (USA).ref
  • May 2004: Billington Food Group Ltd was acquired. The group was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Billington Foods Ltd and part of the Billington Group, whose ultimate holding company is Edward Billington & Son Ltd (CH).ref Billingtons' imported unrefined cane sugars from various countries (primarily Mauritius) into the UK, which it supplied to UK industrial and retail purchasers under its own brand and for private label sales.ref.
  • Dec.2003: G Costa & Company Ltd, owner of the Blue Dragon brand of oriental and specialty sauces and ingredients, was acquired by ABF from private equity firm 3i Group plc. G Costa was formerly subject to a management buyout by senior management in Jan.1999, financed by 3i.ref,ref
  • Jan.2003: George Weston's biscuits and cakes division was sold to ??.ref
  • Apr.2002: ACH Food Companies Inc acquired the Mazola, Argo & Kingsfords, Karo, Henri’s salad dressing and Golden Griddle syrups brands from Unilever. Additional Canadian brands included Benson’s and Canada corn starches, St. Lawrence / St. Laurent corn oil, Crown and Bee Hive corn syrups, Old Colony maple syrup and Old Tyme pancake syrup. Unilever sold the brands as part of its "Path to Growth" strategy, which included a focus on a smaller number of brands in clearly defined divisions. The brands and related assets had been acquired by Unilever in Oct.2000 wrt its acquisition of Bestfoods Corporation. ref
  • Oct.2000: The Wagon Wheels Burton Biscuit unit, which included Cadbury biscuits and Maryland Cookies, was sold to private equity firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst.ref
  • 1997: ABF sold its retail operations in Northern Ireland and the Republic. The companies were: Quinnsworth (sold to Tesco in 1997) and Crazy Prices in the RoI; and Stewarts and Crazy Prices Supermarkets Ltd. In Northern Ireland, the Stewarts chain Winebarrel, Lifestyle sports & Leisure Ltd (a business selling sporting goods and leisure), Kingsway Fresh Foods (a meat processing company) and Daily Wrap Produce (a packing plant fruit and vegetables).
  • Jan.1991: British Sugar plc: majority control was acquired from S&W Berisford.ref
  • 1989: Kingsmill brand was launched.
  • 1965: Weston senior bought 40 companies including a leading manufacturer of parrot food. (Is this true?)
  • 1963: Fine Fare Ltd was sold to Dee Corporation, along with Shoppers Paradise.[18]
  • 1983: Premier Group of South Africa was sold to ??ref
  • mid.1970s: Hudson Brothers, cheesemongers and provision merchants of Ludgate Hill, London, were taken over.ref
  • Jan.1963: Fine Fare Ltd was acquired.[18]
  • Feb.1960: Associated British Foods Ltd: the company changed its name yet again. CH
  • 1951: Fortnum & Mason was acquired.ref
  • Dec.1935: Allied Bakeries Ltd: the company changed its name. CH
  • Nov.1935: Food Investments Ltd was established by Willard Garfield Weston.ref CH

British Sugar

  • 2018: Rebrand: British Sugar rolled out a new brand - signalling our commitment to the future and bringing to life our strong agricultural roots.
  • Apr.2016: Illovo Sugar Ltd: ABF reached an agreement to acquire the outstanding 48.65% interest in Illovo.ref AR-Sept.2016
  • Sept.2006: Illovo Sugar Ltd: British Sugar acquired a 51% stake in Africa's largest sugar producer.[19]
  • 1998: Price-Fixing: following an investigation begun in 1991, the EC ruled that the company was the leading player in a cartel that included Tate & Lyle, as well as distributors James Budgett and Napier Brown. British Sugar was fined $28m for its role.[20]
  • Jan.1991: Associated British Foods bought the company, after S & W Berisford plc was forced to put it up for sale, following financial difficulties.ref
  • Aug.1982: British Sugar plc: S & W Berisford plc made a hostile takeover of the company.ref British Sugar became the cornerstone of Berisford’s newly-created Bristar Group.
  • May.1982: British Sugar plc: the company was re-registered as a public limited company. [AR-Sept.1982]

British Sugar Corporation Ltd

  • Jul.1981: The govt sold its final stake in the company to 150 city institutions.[21]
  • 1977: The govt decreased its holding in the British Sugar Corporation from 36.25% to 24.18%.
  • 1972: Silver Spoon was launched as British Sugar's retail brand name.
  • 1963: British Sugar Bureau: British Sugar co-established the lobby group in order to stave off competition from newly-introduced artificial sweeteners.
  • 1949: Clement Attlee’s Labour govt pursued a policy of nationalisation for key UK industries, and the British sugar industry was included in their plan. The industry fought back hard.
  • Jun.1936: British Sugar Corporation Ltd, a publicly-owned company, was formed when the UK govt nationalised the sugar beet crop processing industry under the Sugar Industry (Reorganisation) Act 1936.ref 13 companies and 18 factories and processing plants were amalgamated to form one organisation under the supervision of the Sugar Commission,[22] with the govt owning 30% of the shares.[23] ref CH,OC
  • 1933: National quotas for beet sugar products were established.
  • 1914: Over half of the sugar industry feedstocks had been raw beet sugar, primarily from Germany and Austria; that supply was quickly cut off, and U-boats threatened cane supplies from regular suppliers in the West Indies, Peru, and Mauritius. The govt took control of sugar refining, confiscating raw sugar stocks and portioning out supplies of all incoming sugar to sugar producers. The govt persuaded farmers to grow sugar beet following the shortages in sugar cane, and as a way to boost the agricultural sector.
  • 1910: The UK beet sugar industry began, with the first factory being built in 1912.ref
  • 1909: National Sugar Beet Association was formed.
Additional Sources: British Sugar plc Companies House. Accessed Jul.2019. ♦ Our History. British Sugar plc. Accessed Jul.25.2019. ♦ British Sugar plc Accessed Jul.24.2019.


ToDo: History, History.arch
  • Jun.2005: Primark acquired all of Littlewoods 119 UK stores. Around 40 were kept, with the rest being sold off.refref
  • 1973: Primark: Penneys expanded to the UK, but could not use the name "Penneys" outside Ireland because J C PenneyWikipedia-W.svg had registered the name.ref The name "Primark" was then invented to use outside Ireland.ref
  • Jun.1969: Penneys was founded in Dublin.ref

Allied Bakeries

Brands, Brands, Website

  • 2011: the company introduced bread bags completely made from recycled waste that came from “Little BIG Loaf” and “Crusts Away!”.
  • 2010: Allied Bakeries launched a new product called Oatlicious.
  • 2009: Allied Bakeries launched the “Little BIG Loaf,” which are small loaves of bread that have full-size slices.
  • 2007: The company re-launched the Kingsmill brand.
  • 2006: Allied Bakeries relocated from its old headquarters in Staines to a new one in Maidenhead.
  • 1997: the company launched linseed and burgen soya.
  • 1990: the company introduced another brand of breads, the Kingsmill brand.
  • 1986: Mighty White, Allied Bakeries’ white, soft grain loaf was introduced to the market. It received great feedback from consumers and in no time became a popular bread in the country.
  • 1984: the Allinson brand partnered with The British Heart Foundation for the purpose of highlighting the benefits of fibre and wholegrain in one’s diet.
  • 1908s: He was able to purchase the Allinson Brand. It was also in the same time that the company first introduced its whole meal bread to the market.
  • 1979: Spillers Bakeries: shortly after Spillers Ltd had been acquired by Dalgety plc,[5] its bakery business was spun off and sold to Allied Bakeries.[6]
  • 1960s: Weston formed what would soon become Allied Bakeries’ parent company, Associated British Foods.
  • 1966: this number had grown to 84 bakeries.
  • 1952: the company was running a total of 50 bakeries.
  • 1938 Allied Bakeries was able to buy nine more bakeries, doubling its size to 15+ bakeries. By the 1950s, the company began selling loaves under the Sunblest brand.
  • 1935: Allied Bakeries was founded in 1935 by Willard G Weston. When he began the company, he started by putting up seven bakeries. These independent bakeries were located in different parts of London, Cardiff, and Edinburgh. Initially, the company was named Food Investments Ltd, but was later changed to Allied Bakeries.


ACH Food Companies Inc

  • Oct.2019:
    Anthony's Goods, a digital brand that offers products such as almond flour, coconut flour, psyllium husk and other gluten-free ingredients, was acquired.ref Website
  • Sept.2016:
    Weber-Grills.svg Tones.png Spice-Islands.pngDeals-Arrow-Right.svg
    ACH Food Companies sold its North American herbs and spices business to B&G Foods Inc. Brands sold included Spice Islands, Tone’s, Durkee, and the license for Weber sauces and seasonings ref,ref The transaction completed in Nov.2016.ref, ref
  • Over the next few years, the company focused on improving its popular brands and made more acquisitions. It expanded rapidly, with new branches in Canada and Puerto Rico as well as other states in the USA.
  • Oct.2008: Stratas Foods LLC was formed as a 50/50 joint venture between ACH and Archer Daniels Midland Company, which was also selling edible oils at the time. ACH contributed a portfolio of leading brands in the Foodservice and Food Ingredients industries, including Frymax, Mazola ZT, Whirl, Sweetex, Trisun, Tem-Tex, and Fenix Flakes. Archer Daniels Midland contributed a North American production network with a long history of operational excellence, access to a global network of Procurement, Processing, and Transportation resources, and an expert commodity Sales force.ref Website
  • 2007: ACH acquired Unilever's oil and baking brands in Mexico: Capullo, Inca, Karo and Aladino, which ultimately led to ACH establishing an independent company, Alimentos Capullo, headquartered in Mexico City.
  • 2007: Patak’s Indian Foods: ACH tied up with Patak's, and started its distribution in the USA.
  • 2005: Fleishmann’s was acquired.
  • Jul.2004: Burns, Philp & Company Ltd's yeast and spice divisions were acquired. See also Burns Philp & CompanyWikipedia-W.svg
  • 2004: Tone Brothers Inc, a leading national manufacturer of spices and seasonings, was acquired.
  • Apr.2002: ACH acquired Mazola (salad and cooking oils), Argo (cornflour), Kingsford’s (cornflour), Purlite (cooking oil), Karo (corn syrup), Henri’s (salad dressing), and Golden Griddle (table syrup), along with 15 other North American food brands from Unilever. ref, ref
  • 2000: ACH Food Companies Inc: AC HUMKO was renamed.
  • 1995: AC HUMKO: Associated British Foods purchased Kraft's food ingredients business in the USA, and renamed the business.
  • 1995: ACH Food Companies Inc was founded. The company started its business by selling edible oils.
Additional Sources: About, Brands


  • Apr.18.2018: Is Primark's owner too big – and diverse – to fail? AB Foods owns a sprawling portfolio but the discount fashion store proves it’s best not to tweak a winning formula. If ABF didn’t have a controlling shareholder, an uppity US hedge fund would probably have demanded the company be split into pieces years ago. AB Foods’ portfolio runs from sugar production around the globe, takes in grocery brands such as Twinings, Ovaltine and Kingsmill, and has spawned discount clothing chain Primark. Nils Pratley, The Guardian.
  • Feb.22.2018: First it was fake farms, now fake bakeries? Allied Bakeries’ H W Nevill brandOC is just that - a brand. In common with many industrial loaves, these loaves are actually made using a number of artificial additives as well. They include mono- and diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids (aka DATEM or E472e), and the preservative calcium propionateWikipedia-W.svg. Do these sound like ‘quality ingredients’ to you? As for "craft", how – by any definition – can the machine operators on a loaf production line be considered "craft bakers"? This is a cheap industrial loaf, manufactured using a variant of the high-speed, additive-reliant, ‘no-time’ Chorleywood Process, unleashed in 1961 - nearly 90 years after H W Nevill kneaded loaves. Chris Young, Sustainable Food Trust.


  1. ^ ActionAid exposes tax avoidance by ABF in Zambia. Zambia Sugar plc found legal ways to siphon 33% of pre-tax profits into tax havens. The lost revenues are 10 times bigger than the amount the UK gives Zambia in aid for education each year. ActionAid, Feb.14.2013. See also "Sweet nothings" report.
  2. ^ Illovo in court over finances. Illovo Sugar (Malawi) Ltd and its 11 directors are in court over claims of falsifying the company’s financial statements and of diverting distributable profits from minority shareholders. Illovo Sugar (Malawi) Ltd is also accused of failure to disclose excessive borrowing which increased by 40%, the financial costs increased by 135% and a bank overdraft which increased by K1.2 bn. Rex Chikoko, The National, Apr.01.2016.
  3. ^ KPMG faults Illovo Malawi in multibillion Kwacha fraud: Case adjourned. The case resumed this week when a KPMG partner was grilled on an audit report; KPMG revealed that the audited accounts were misleading. The case has been adjourned to Jan.29/30 next year. Alick Mande-Nyasa, Nyasa Times, Dec.13.2017.
  4. ^ Annual Report and Accounts 2018 In October 2018, the group shut down operations at Vivergo, AB Sugar’s bioethanol plant in Hull. page 143, Associated British Foods plc, Sept.2018.
  5. ^ Spicy story. The Times Archive, Sept.21.1973.
  6. ^ Heinz Acquires Leading Sauce Brands, Including Lea & Perrins, From Groupe Danone for US$820 Million; Transaction Accelerates Growth in Global Condiments and Sauces. BusinessWire, Aug.16.2008.
  7. ^ History of Ryvita. Ryvita. Accessed Jun.13.2018.
  8. ^ Jordans & Ryvita Company boosts exports by 60%. Food Manufacture, Sept.21.2016.
  9. ^ The History of Jordans. Jordans Cereals. Accessed Jun.13.2018.
  10. ^ Acquisition of a 20% stake in Jordans. ABF plc, Sept.14.2007.
  11. ^ AB Foods merges Ryvita brand with Jordans. James Thompson, The Independent, Jun.03.2008.
  12. ^ What's the story, morning glory? Food Manufacture, Mar.15.2017.
  13. ^ Dorset Cereals: Changing the world, one breakfast bowl at a time. Laura Chesters, The Independent, Jun.28.2012.
  14. ^ Wellness Foods bites into Dorset Cereals. Langholm Capital, Mar.2008.
  15. ^ Dorset Cereals sold for £50M. The Dorset Echo, Mar.17.2008.
  16. ^ ABF confirms agreement to buy Dorset Cereals. Food Manufacture, Jun.04.2013.
  17. ^ ABF buys vinegar firm as weak sterling boosts profits. Food Manufacture, Sept.10.2017.
  18. ^ a b History of the Group, 1960's. Associated British Foods plc. Original archived on Apr.24.2009.
  19. ^ Sugar: ABF Buys 51% of Africa's Biggest Producer, Illovo. Deborah Hargreaves, The Guardian, May.20.2006.
  20. ^ Sugar Firms Fined $33m. Edinburgh Evening News, Oct.14.1998.
  21. ^ Government Sells Its British Sugar Stake. The Times, Jul.23.1981.
  22. ^ British Beet Sugar Companies Voluntary Amalgamation. The Times, Apr.01.1936.
  23. ^ British Sugar Corporation Shares. House of Commons Hansard, Mar.13.1978.