Mary Carmichael
Heinz has sold its San Marco frozen pizza brand to Green Isle Foods for an undisclosed sum.
The deal also includes the licence to produce frozen pizza under the Ross brand. The sale follows Heinz's decision to halt pizza production at its Grimsby plant in March this year and to axe its Pizza Pleasure brand along with the Main Street Bistro frozen ready meals range.
UK frozen business unit director Mark Holdaway described the San Marco deal as a "win-win for both parties". He added that Heinz would now focus on its core business of soups, sauces, ketchup and baby foods.
Northern Foods subsidiary Green Isle, which takes control of both of its new charges from early next month, said they complemented its Goodfella's pizza brand. This faces increasing competition from Dr Oetker and Schwan's Chicago Town brands.
Green Isle claimed Goodfella's already accounted for around a fifth of frozen pizza sales in the UK. It plans to manufacture and distribute all its brands from its facilities in Naas, Ireland.