Longbenton, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
|Industry||frozen food manufacture and retail|
|Employees||420 (UK only)|
A small factory first made the Findus brand in Skåne in Sweden. The name came from Fruit Industries. In 1941, the factory was bought by Marabou, a Swedish confectionery company. In 1945 Findus launched the first deepfrozen food products in Sweden. In 1962, this Findus brand was sold to Nestlé. In January 2000, it was bought by EQT, a Swedish firm.
Geir Frantzen, a former senior manager at Findus AB, bought out the UK company in April 2005 from EQT. The UK business is now managed by Frantzen and Vidar Engen.
In Spain and Portugal the brand has been owned by Ardo, Europe's largest frozen vegetables company, since 2006.
The Findus brand in the UK is based on Benton Lane near Longbenton in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE12 8EF. The A188/189 roundabout is known as the Findus Roundabout, and Findus currently sponsors the town according to several local signs. The company has some notoriety for a famous blooper reel of voice recordings made by Orson Welles, known as the Frozen Peas reel.
A cat, delivered in a frozen peas box, is named Findus in a children's books series by Sven Nordqvist.
Foodvest, listed in the Top Track 100 List of biggest private UK companies, now owns the Findus brand in Europe, notably France, Sweden and Norway, along with the Youngs Seafood brand. However, the Findus UK brand was licensed out to a separate firm. Foodvest is now known as the Findus Group, having changed its name on June 8, 2009.
On 6 January 2009 a fire broke out at the factory, devastating much of the building. On January 9 Newcastle Production, who run the factory, said that they were having major cash flow problems. The company entered administration with Zolfo Cooper, who are attempting to sell the business and safeguard the 420 jobs. Foodvest since re-acquired the company.
In Italy the Findus brands belongs to Unilever and has its HQ in Cisterna di Latina (south of Rome), even if the name is Findus the logo and the products are the same of Birds Eye brand plus a particular brand name "4 salti in padella Findus" (lit. 4 jumps in a pan - in Italian language this intends "stir frying") a very famous microwavable or easy cooking version of classical Italian dishes like Carbonara, Amatriciana, Bolognese etc.