Popular Aussie icon finally saved
THE iconic Violet Crumble chocolate bar has made a triumphant return to Australian shores.
Yesterday, Aussie confectionery company Robern Menz officially launched production of the sweet treats after buying the brand from Nestle earlier in 2018.
It means the famous sack - the first Australian chocolate bar - is finally back in local hands after nearly half a century of foreign ownership.
Robern Menz, a South Australian, family-owned business with a 160-year history, now owns the secret Violet Crumble recipe and the company also took over nine double semi-trailer truckloads of equipment from the Melbourne Nestle factory which used to produce the bars.
Robern Menz CEO Phil Sims said the acquisition was good news for all Australians.
"The recipe and process technique is top secret. That's why the Violet Crumble explosive and shattering honeycomb experience is so unique and so loved by generations of Australians since it was first created in Australia by Abel Hoadley as Australia's first chocolate bar in 1913," he said.
"It's exciting to be part of the legacy. To have custody of one of Australia's great brands, and produce it in a way that does justice to its history, is a real privilege.
"We are fiercely passionate about Australian brands, and our expertise will ensure Violet Crumble is produced with the same passion and affinity Australians have had towards the brand since 1913."
Mr Sims said the original Violet Crumble recipe would be followed, and that the company was also focused on using sustainable and ethically sourced cocoa ingredients.
The factory, based in Glynde, Adelaide, underwent a $4 million refurbishment to make the production of Violet Crumbles possible along with the three-month relocation of factory parts from Melbourne to South Australia.
While the cost of the brand's purchase has not been revealed, Robert Menz did get a helping hand via a $750,000 state government Future Jobs Fund grant and a $900,000 loan from the Investment Attraction Agency.
When the deal was first announced in January this year, it had the full support of former South Australian premier Jay Weatherill.
"Like many South Australians, I love Violet Crumbles, and it's great we can now all enjoy these chocolate bars knowing we're also supporting South Australian jobs," he said at the time.
"Robern Menz is a household name in South Australia, and it's great that this local business has ambitions to grow their operations and create more local jobs in food processing."
An extra 30 staff members were also hired to oversee the bars' production.
Around six million bars will now be produced annually, with the company planning on expanding the product overseas.
Violet Crumble is the second famous food product to return to Australian ownership recently, after dairy company Bega struck a $469 million deal last year to buy Vegemite from US food giant Mondelez.