The £779m Northern Irish chicken processor, which supplied 95% of its lines under supermarket own label, was working on a wide range of new products to add margin to its portfolio, said marketing director Julia Bradley.
Central to its strategy would be its new Castle Lea brand, she said. So far only chicken was included in the range, but a beef line would be added later this month and further products were in the pipeline. Listings were confirmed in Morrisons, Somerfield, Asda and The Co-op.
Although Moy Park would continue to produce meat locally in the UK for the foreseeable future, the company had not ruled out using Marfrig's global network of production sites to bring in meat from abroad in future, added group brand manager Matt Godbold.
"Marfrig's aspirations for growth are pretty significant. You'll see a lot more Castle Lea in the next few months," he said, adding the Brazilian parent wanted to "significantly" grow Moy Park's turnover.
The branded move comes at a time when producers are increasingly looking to grow margin in the category. The Black Farmer launched a chicken brand in June, while 2 Sisters has reported strong sales of its premium Devonshire Red birds. Another Brazilian meat giant, JBS-Friboi, also revealed plans this week to expand its UK supply of added-value cut and sliced beef lines as part of its strategy to upscale production worldwide.
Moy Park would also increasingly adopt a public-facing mentality following Marfrig's acquisition last year, said Bradley. That would include the launch of a major marketing campaign for the Castle Lea brand in 2010.
"Marfrig's acquisition has opened the door to grow these opportunities," she added. "It's about bringing profit and maximising the business potential."