British cereal company Weetabix has renewed its pledge to source all its wheat from British farmers.
In this regard, Weetabix announced that it will exclusively source wheat for its biscuits from two local wheat merchants, Gleadell and Fengrain.
The company had in 2010 vowed to source 100 per cent of its wheat from local (British) farmers as a way of guaranteeing the quality of its product, while supporting its growing rural economy.
However, a wheat shortage in the UK has from time to time forced the company to import the raw material.
Acquisition and Expansion
In 2012, Bright Food – China’s second largest food manufacturing company – bought 60% of Weetabix for £1.2bn as it looked to feed the growing demand for cereal in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Nanjing.
Weetabix currently has a presence in 80 countries around the world, among them Kenya, and is now looking to penetrate further in the East African market as it expands into West Africa.
The Weetabix whole grain biscuits are popular among the urban dwellers in Kenya.
Recently, the UK company had to go to court to fend off threats by Kenyan biscuit maker Manji Food Industries, who were out to market their own brand of whole-grain biscuits branded Multibix.
In its complaint, Weetabix claimed that Multibix was an imitation of its products, arguing that the name was aimed at tricking buyers into purchasing Manji’s products at the expense of Weetabix’s.
Manji denied the allegations, saying that Multibix was not intended to confuse Weetabix’s customers as it was a different brand.
In March 2015, the High Court Manji to stop selling and withdraw Multibix from until the trade name dispute with UK firm Weetabix was heard and determined.
Later, in April of the same year, the two companies agreed to settle the dispute out of court.