A spokeswoman for Unilever told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “There are no supply impacts as a result of this sale”.
She said there were four co-packers for the low-calorie meal replacement brand, only one of which was based in the UK, adding: “there is no known impact on production at the moment”.
Slim-Fast products were made by contract manufacturers and packers in countries outside the UK and then despatched to UK distributors for delivery to customers, she said.
‘Retain minority stake’
The company announced the deal yesterday (July 10). “Unilever today announced that it has sold its Slim-Fast brand to Kainos Capital,” it said in a statement. “Unilever will retain a minority stake in the business.
“The transaction includes the Slim-Fast trademark and the global Slim-Fast business portfolio. Slim-Fast is sold throughout North America and in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Terms of the transaction, which was also completed today, were not disclosed."
Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America, said: “The Slim-Fast sale is the last step in the portfolio reshaping that we had planned for North America. This transaction, along with previously announced divestitures, will give us the focus to drive growth behind our core portfolio.”
Partners involved with Kainos Capital, based in Dallas, Texas, have invested in many high profile global food and drink brands and companies well-known to UK consumers in the past 20 years. They include Premier Foods, Typhoo tea, Del Monte and Cadbury.
Slim-Fast was originally a range of milk and soy-based milkshakes developed by the Thompson Medical Company in 1990. Unilever acquired Slim-Fast Foods in 2000. Value sales of the brand have been in overall decline in the US market over the past five years.