Ganong Partners with Cooke to Expand Confectionery Business Globally



Canada’s oldest confectionery and chocolate company, Ganong Bros., Ltd., is joining forces with seafood giant Cooke Inc. to expand the family-owned confectionery business.

The partnership will see Cooke, the parent company of several aquaculture, seafood processing and wild fishing divisions, invest in Ganong and help the business modernize and expand into new markets.

Bryana Ganong, president and CEO of Ganong and the fifth generation of the family to run the company, said Cooke’s investment will be directed towards new equipment and upgrades to the company’s facilities in St. Stephen, New Brunswick.

It will also allow Ganong to leverage Cooke’s global grocery retail presence, helping to grow the confectionery company’s sales worldwide, she said.

“This is new territory for us as a private family business,” Ganong said. “But it is important that we are open to change and adaptation to continue for future generations.”

“We are a nearly 150-year-old company and we are very connected to our community. It was really important for us to prioritize a partner who was going to understand that connection and who wanted to see the business grow here in New Brunswick, and Cooke is a perfect match.”

Founded in 1873, Ganong is Canada’s oldest family-owned confectionery and chocolate company, with popular brands such as Chicken Bones, Pal-o-Mine bars and Delectro boxes of assorted chocolates.

Ganong has been working to optimize its product offerings, reduce the labor intensity of products, and improve and streamline operations for several years, Ganong said.

Amid the pandemic, the company started an allergen removal project and started manufacturing some products in different ways to separate allergens in the facility, Ganong said.

As a result, the company was able to secure two new contracts to manufacture products for other brands, she said.

“We produce confectionery products for a range of companies in Canada and the United States under their own brands here at our St. Stephen plant,” Ganong said. “It’s definitely the fastest growing part of our business.”

But Ganong said the company realized that to continue growing, investment would be needed.

“We operate in an environment where we compete with large multinationals,” she said. “There certainly aren’t a lot of smaller players in the industry anymore. There’s been a lot of consolidation.”

Cooke’s support will help ensure the company remains competitive in an ever-changing global confectionery market, Ganong added.

Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke, said in a statement that his company is proud to invest in Ganong to help strengthen and grow the candy maker.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on October 14, 2022.


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