TEBURY’S largest employer has merged with a Swedish confectionery company.

Orchard Valley Foods and Candeco Confektyr AB have merged to create a €40 million producer of confections, inclusions and decorations for the food manufacturing, foodservice and retail home baking sectors as well as international markets.

The new business will be known as Orchard Valley Foods Group.

This is the first development in the formation of the new group which is head quartered in Tenbury.

The Orchard Valley Foods Group will become a global brand with an office in Melbourne, Australia being the next step.

Members of the Orchard Valley team in Tenbury are taking the senior roles in the new group and a number of new roles have been created to support the international organisation and recent significant growth, particularly in retail home baking.

The combination of Orchard Valley Foods’ international sales, marketing and distribution along with the flagship manufacturing site in Malmo, Sweden, makes for a world-class business.

Candeco supplies decorations and inclusions to the global ice cream, bakery and chocolate industries and is owned by the Orkla Group, which acquired a majority share in UK-based Orchard Valley Foods in March 2017.

Orchard Valley Foods supplies an assortment of products including fudge, biscuit pieces, toffee chips, mini marshmallows, chocolate pieces and sprinkles.

As well its market-leading position supplying the food manufacturing sector, Orchard Valley supplies many retailers with own-label home baking products as well as its own ‘Additions’ range of home baking lines.

Both companies have an active new product development team involved in the confectionery inclusions and decorations sector.

The move to combine the two businesses will offer customers a complete range of services to meet their needs – from innovative product development collaboration, various packaging formats, jars, sachets, tubs and bags, all manufactured in global food safety accredited sites.

Cherry Blumberg, Orchard Valley Foods Group managing director explained: “The confections, inclusions and decorations market continues to offer significant growth opportunities, both in domestic and export markets as manufacturers seek to add novelty and attraction, whether through visual appeal, texture, indulgence or mouth feel to their products.

“Candeco is a fantastic business renowned for its creativity in product development, delivering innovative solutions to meet customer needs, so it was a logical move to blend our two businesses to support continued market development.

“The combined resources under the Orchard Valley Foods Group brand will not only offer us new opportunities in the global market, but will give our customers unrivalled product expertise and first-class sourcing capabilities.”

Orchard Valley Foods started as a home business and has seen rapid expansion to become the largest employer in Tenbury and the surrounding area.

It is based on the business park in Burford and employs more than 70 people most of whom live in the local area.

The company has won many awards including a Queen’s Award for its contribution to exports.

As well as selling into the UK market it sells its products into a number of overseas markets including Australia.