EUROPE – Dr. Schär, a global leader in gluten-free nutrition and food for people with special nutritional needs, has announced that it has taken over the “gluten-free” business of Hero in the Nordic countries.

According to Just Foods, the transaction will become effective on 31 December, subject to the completion of union negotiations and formal transaction procedures.

Specifically, the South Tyrolean company took over the production site in Korsnas, Finland, including the employees and the entire line of “gluten-free” foods produced on site, including the well-known Finnish crispy bread cakes.

“The expansion of Dr. Schär in the Nordics will allow us to strengthen our mission to improve the lives of all consumers with special dietary needs,” said Hannes Berger, CEO of Dr. Schär.

With this acquisition, the Italian company strengthened itself in the gluten-free market in Northern Europe, consolidating its position in Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden.

Rob Versloot, CEO of Hero Group, said: “We are very pleased we could conclude this sale as the business can grow to its full potential with Dr Schär, a specialist in the gluten-free business.

According to Rob, the divestment is part of the company’s long-term strategy to focus on its core categories of Baby and toddler Food and Snacks, Healthy Snacks, and Natural Spreads.

Headquartered in Burgstall, Italy, the gluten-free food maker Dr. Schär has 18 sites in 11 countries, including Spain, the UK, and the US.

The Company provides gluten-free breads, flour, snacks, cereals, pasta, biscuits, desserts, frozen convenience foods, and other dietary, as well as nutritional products.

In July, Dr. Schär expanded its gluten-free capacity with a US$13.2M biscuit production facility at its manufacturing facility in Dreihausen, Germany to increase biscuit production, which is the “core product of the site.

In March this year, the company invested EUR6.8m (US$7.2m) to add a new production line at its facility in Alagón, Spain as part of its goal to increase the capacity to provide food for people suffering from celiac disease and those with other gluten sensitivities.

According to Dr. Schär, these investments come at a time when health-conscious consumers are showing an increased interest in gluten-free products as a part of a broader healthy eating regime.

With the rise in demand for gluten-free food and drinks, manufacturers are exploring various gluten alternatives, including flour derived from nuts, seeds, beans, fruits, and vegetables.

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