Australia’s biggest producer of popcorn has opened a new popcorn plant in Lebenon, which has been growing its own brand of food for about five years.
The factory, named Alef Packaging, was established in September and was designed to make high quality, locally sourced, premium popcorn at a price competitive with overseas competitors.
“We wanted to build a brand in the region,” said Alef’s chief executive, Chris O’Reilly.
Australia’s top-grossing producer of premium premium popcorns, Alef has also been making premium chocolate and snack food.
Its most recent crop, in the mid-2020s, produced about one-third of Australia’s premium premium corn, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
With the new plant, the company aims to become Australia’s largest producer of corn-based popcorn in the world.
Alef Package has invested $400,000 in the new factory, which it hopes to open by the end of the year.
O’Reilly said the company was looking forward to building on its successful track record in the local marketplace.
He said it had a strong focus on quality and customer service, as well as an innovative approach to sourcing and packaging its corn.
But it had also found it difficult to compete with some of the biggest and most profitable local food businesses, such as McDonalds, Domino’s and Coles.
In its bid to become a global leader in premium premium popcorn, Aleff had been trying to build up its brand in Europe.
Last year, it announced a partnership with the world’s biggest food retailer, Lidl, to sell its premium premium brands, including Peppa Pig and Jack O’Lantern, in supermarkets in France and the UK.