Greenyard has bolstered its presence in the plant-based ice cream sector by acquiring Belgium’s Crème de la Crème.

The financial details of the deal were not disclosed. This acquisition allows the fruit-and-vegetable giant to take over a production facility in Hasselt, situated in eastern Belgium.

Crème de la Crème specialises as a private-label manufacturer of frozen desserts, offering a range that includes ice lollies, sorbet, gelato, and pre-mixed frozen fruit bars suitable for smoothies.

The company’s website states that it serves customers across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Greenyard announced that this acquisition has added “over 25 years of additional in-house experience” in the production of dairy-free frozen desserts.

The company made its initial foray into this category in May of last year with the purchase of Italian vegan ice cream maker Gigi.

Greenyard has confirmed to Just Food that it intends to retain the existing workforce of Crème de la Crème, which comprises approximately 50 employees.

Greenyard’s core business has traditionally focused on fresh, frozen, and prepared fruit and vegetable products. The acquisition of Crème de la Crème contributes to the company’s strategy to offer a “full range of healthy, pure-plant products for any moment of the day,” according to its statement.

Francis Kint, CEO of Greenyard, expressed confidence in the growing consumer demand for “delicious, healthy, pure-plant snacking and indulgent products.”

“We are happy to integrate the Crème de la Crème team into the Greenyard family and strengthen our knowledge and production capacity in pure-plant ice manufacturing, right here in Belgium,” Kint added.

He also noted that the business “seamlessly integrates within Greenyard’s European-wide frozen logistic chain, and our global access to the largest retailers.”

Rik Zweegers, CEO of Crème de la Crème, commented on the benefits of joining forces with Greenyard, saying, “With Greenyard, we’ll be able to reshuffle the world of frozen snacking, as both retailers and consumers are looking for tasty and healthy options to create value.”

Greenyard is poised to “accelerate and disrupt the frozen snack category” with its pure-plant frozen products, following the acquisitions of Gigi and Crème de la Crème, the company told Just Food.

The company also shared that “retailers and consumers are picking up on” the Gigi products and added, “That is also why we will continue to fully support the brand in the coming months, to make sure that ever more consumers find the way to Gigi, the pure-plant ice.”

In its financial year 2022/23, Greenyard reported sales of €4.69bn ($5bn), up from €4.4bn the previous year. The company recorded an EBIT of €48.7m, compared to €58.3m the year before, with net profit from continuing operations at €9.3m, down from €16.9m.

In December, Greenyard announced a shift from a dual CEO model to promoting internally for a new chief executive, appointing Francis Kint as the new CEO. Kint, previously the MD of Greenyard’s frozen division, replaced co-CEOs Hein Deprez and Marc Zwaanveld, who had led the company since 2019.

With approximately 8,500 employees, Greenyard operates in 19 countries, with key markets including Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, the UK, the USA, Poland, and the Czech Republic.


Sam Allcock, a seasoned entrepreneur with over two decades of expertise in Food & Drink Editorial.

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