Patties bought Four ‘n Twenty, Herbert Adams and Nanna’s from Simplot, putting the iconic pie brands back in Australian hands and flying in the face of a trend towards foreign ownership of Australian food and beverage manufacturing.
Simplot is a family owned American company that began as a one-man potato farming operation in 1929. Simplot became the first company to develop commercially viable French fries in the late 1940s and became the exclusive supplier of fries to McDonalds. The company diversified and expanded, arriving in Australia in 1995 and acquiring local brands including Birds Eye, Leggo’s, Chiko and Edgell.
Four ‘n Twenty was among the brands Simplot bought from Pacific Dunlop in 1995. Pacific Dunlop had acquired the brand, along with Birds Eye and Edgell, with its purchase of Petersville in 1991. The inventor of the Four ‘n Twenty pie had sold the brand to the Victorian division of Peters Ice Cream in 1960.
The Patties purchase saw manufacturing of Four ‘n Twenty moved to Bairnsdale, Victoria, with the plant in Kensington being closed. More than 200 workers at the Melbourne factory lost their jobs.