Ferndale Foods Australia has announced its groundbreaking $20 million investment in a state-of-the-art food manufacturing facility in Ballarat, Victoria. This strategic move aims to meet the growing demand for “better for you” bars and snacks in the market.
The rise in popularity of better-for-you products is driven by their ability to offer convenience and nutritional benefits to consumers. “This thriving industry is not only booming in Australia but also globally, with projections estimating the market for these products to reach an astonishing USD $32 billion by 2025.(1)”
“Through extensive research and consultation with our major customers and leading brand owners, we have identified a significant gap in the industry—a comprehensive, state-of-the-art manufacturing hub capable of producing a diverse range of bars, including protein, muesli, low-sugar, sugar-free, gluten-free, and high-fibre options,” says Ferndale Foods Australia CEO Leigh Edward.
Ferndale’s new facility is also generating excitement among some of the country’s largest supermarkets.
ALDI Australia Buying Director Varun Raheja says, “ALDI partners with many innovative Australian businesses to bring the highest quality products to our shelves. Ferndale’s commitment to Australian-based manufacturing speaks to ongoing investment in the industry, and its commitment to keep delivering when it comes to product innovation for our stores. We value partners like Ferndale immensely and offer our congratulations on another milestone for this iconic Aussie business.”
This venture represents a continuation of the Edward family’s successful track record in establishing food manufacturing facilities. Bruce Edward laid the foundation with Ferndale Confectionery in 1995, known for their ownership and production of renowned brands such as JILA® MINTS and JOLS® Pastilles. Building on this success, Leigh and his father Bruce founded The So Soft Marshmallow Co. in 2017, rapidly establishing itself as a dominant force in the segment.
“Similar to marshmallows, we recognised the existing demand for better-for-you products. By offering a one-stop-shop with state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge facilities, along with the highest quality products, we can optimize production, storage, and shipping processes for larger customers, providing them with unparalleled convenience and cost savings,” Mr Edward said.
Once operational, the new facility named FoodLine Australia, will have the capacity to manufacture 180 million bars annually. It will offer co-manufacturing capability to existing brands and customers while also creating its own “better for you” product lines. In addition to significantly boosting the local Ballarat economy in regional Victoria, FoodLine Australia plans to employ up to 30 people over the next 18 months.