Aeon Hopes to Pack Picard Frozen Food Products in Japan
Mihama-ku, Chiba, Japan-headquartered Aeon Co. Ltd. would like to make certain products sold under the Picard Surgeles private label in Japan, according to a December 8 story in the Japan Times. This follows the test marketing of a number of items supplied by the French frozen food specialist – among them sautéed duck, sliced foie gras and croissants – in Tokyo-area stores during November.
According to the newspaper report, which quoted an unnamed source: “Aeon is planning to hold talks with Picard about the possibility of producing its frozen food items in Japan, because imports alone may not be able to provide sufficient volume and range. The Japanese retailer also hopes to reduce the cost of low-temperature ocean transport by starting production in Japan together with other domestic makers.”
Aeon, regarded as the largest retailer in Asia, employs 420,000 people in 14 counties. It currently operates 1,882 supermarkets in Japan, 69 in Thailand, 17 in China and nine in Malaysia. Including revenues generated at department stores, convenience stores, pharmacies and other retail outlets, it took in approximately ¥6,395 billion in consolidated net operating revenue last year.
Fontainebleau-headquartered Picard, a holding of the Lion Capital LLP private equity fund since 2010, is the number one frozen food retailer in France, with a network of nearly 1,000 stores and a product range that offers customers over 1,100 offerings under the Picard brand. The company, which also operates a much smaller portfolio of stores in Italy, Sweden and Belgium, rang up more than €1.3 billion in consolidated sales during its last fiscal year.