Hilton Foods to build North American manufacturing plant after signing supply contract with Walmart Canada

Published on
September 20, 2023
A Walmart Canada outlet.

Hilton Food Group will build a manufacturing facility in Eastern Canada after signing a long-term supply agreement with Walmart Canada.

The location of the new facility has not yet been announced, but it will supply Walmart with protein products including seafood, beef, lamb, and pork, including added-value products.

"This agreement further extends our global footprint and will be our first manufacturing facility in North America,” Hilton Foods Group CEO Steve Murrells said in a press release. “It is another sign of the strength of our customer offer, as well as growing consumer demand for high quality, affordable, protein products, which we can deliver through our scale, international experience, and supply chain expertise. Hilton Foods and Walmart share the same high standards of sustainability and we are looking forward to providing Walmart with the service and range of quality products for which Hilton Foods is known."

Hilton Food Group, based in Huntingdon, U.K., operates 24 food processing facilities in 19 markets in Europe, Asia, and North America. It entered the seafood sector in 2017 with its purchase of chilled fish supplier Seachill in 2017, and subsequently expanded its holdings with the acquisition of Dutch Seafood Company in 2021.

Hilton and Walmart said in a joint statement their partnership “represents a significant step forward for both Walmart and Hilton Foods in fulfilling increasing consumer demand across Canada for high quality, good value, and increasingly sustainable protein products.”

“Through the partnership, Hilton Foods will apply its strong ESG credentials underpinned by its Sustainable Protein Plan to the North American market,” it said.

The new facility, to be financed under the umbrella of Hilton Foods Canada – a newly formed subsidiary – will be leased by Hilton Foods. The investment will be funded with debt through 2024 and 2025, though Hilton said its leverage “is expected to remain at comfortable levels during this investment phase.”

Hilton said it hoped to begin production at the plant in 2026, and that it will provide robotized store order picking into Walmart's distribution centers.

Walmart Canada Chief Merchandising Officer Sam Wankowski said the agreement “is sparking change in the way Walmart Canada sources proteins.”

“Our new agreement with Hilton Foods – their very first in Canada – is a win for our customers,” Wankowski said. “ We're strengthening our delivery of quality products at low prices and with more sustainable packaging to Canadians, while continuing to support Canadian farms and ranches."

Walmart Canada operates more than 400 stores across Canada, serving 1.5 million customers daily, with an additional 1.5 million additional customers shopping at its online store in Canada every day.

Walmart Canada Vice President Food Sourabh Malik the Hilton agreement will improve the company’s protein sourcing supply chain.

"At Walmart Canada, when we see an opportunity to strengthen our business that will benefit our customers, we will always do what they deserve – and exceed their expectations,” Malik said. “The new protein processing solution with Hilton will ultimately provide Canadians with fresh, consistent Walmart brand protein in the sizes and cuts they're looking for."

Photo courtesy of ValeStock/Shutterstock

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