Princes Group

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Princes Group
Wholly owned subsidiary
Industry Food & Drink
Founded Liverpool, England (1880)
Founder Simpson & Roberts
Headquarters Liverpool, England
Number of locations
15 production sites
Key people
Mike Easterbrook – Group MD, Kazuo Ito – Chairman
Products Fish, meat, fruit, vegetables, soups, pastes, pasta, cooking sauces, edible oils and soft drinks
Revenue £1.61 billion (March 2014)
£59.1 million (March 2014)
Number of employees
Parent Mitsubishi Corporation

Princes Group is an international food and drink group[1] involved in the manufacture, import and distribution of branded and customer own-brand products. Customers include major supermarkets, convenience stores, foodservice operators, wholesale suppliers and other food manufacturers. Princes’ brands and products span over 20 different categories including fish, meat, fruit, vegetables, soups, pastes, pasta, cooking sauces, edible oils and a broad range of soft drinks sectors.


Princes’ heritage dates back to 1880,[2] when it was first established as a fish importing business in Liverpool, the city where its international headquarters are still located today. Initially, the company expanded into new markets including the import of canned and ambient foods from around the world. Princes’ first venture into food manufacturing happened in 1946,[2] starting a period of diversification and growth which continues today. Princes first entered continental Europe in 1960[2] and today its European operations are managed from its offices in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation since 1989,[2] Princes has completed a number of high-profile mergers and acquisitions in the last two decades that have added significant scale to the business.


  • 1880 Founded in Liverpool by Simpson & Roberts
  • 1900 Princes Pure Foods formed, Princes brand established
  • 1946 Princes starts first manufacturing venture
  • 1960 Princes enters continental Europe
  • 1989 Mitsubishi Corporation buys Princes
  • 1991 Princes enters the soft drinks category through the acquisition of Barraclough
  • 1999 Princes acquires Tuna Mauritius
  • 2001 Princes acquires both the Shippam’s and Napolina brands/businesses
  • 2004 Princes acquires water business and the Aqua Pura brand
  • 2005 Princes acquires cooking oils brands and forms Edible Oils Limited (EOL) joint venture business. Princes establishes MC Foods Europe
  • 2010 Princes opens Princes Polska office and forms joint venture business to expand distribution of oils in eastern and central Europe
  • 2011 Princes acquires two East Anglian canning operations and the Crosse & Blackwell and Farrow’s brands[3]
  • 2012 Princes Industrie Alimentari S.r.L. (PIA) created and processing factory in Foggia Italy acquired[4]
  • 2015 Princes Tuna (Mauritius) completes agreement to create enlarged tuna processing operation[5]

Owned and operated brands[edit]


Some of the well-known brands (*= Licensed brands) Princes manufacture and produce are:

  • Aqua Pura - natural mineral water brand sourced from Cumbria
  • Batchelors* – a brand that dates back to 1895 with a range that includes canned soups and peas
  • Branston* – a brand well known for its store cupboard favourites such as baked beans, spaghetti bolognese, macaroni cheese and ravioli
  • Cookeen – traditional baking fat used in pastry and made from 100% vegetable oil
  • Crisp 'n Dry – popular UK vegetable oil brand
  • Crosse & Blackwell - canned food brand that includes favourites such as baked beans, soups, pasta, vegetables and ready meals
  • Farrow’s – British-grown giant marrowfat processed peas
  • Flora* – popular sunflower oil brand
  • Jucee – popular squash drinks brand
  • Mazola - corn and speciality oil brand. Range includes corn, peanut, grapeseed, rapeseed and sunflower oils
  • Napolina - Italian-style ingredients brand. Range includes sun-ripened tomatoes to fruity olive oils, pasta and pasta sauces, as well as more specialist grated cheese, pulses and pizza products
  • Olivio* - cooking oil first launched in 1991, made with a blend of vegetable and olive oils
  • Princes – a brand in itself, the Princes range now includes a diverse selection of over 350 food and drink products including canned fish, meat, fruit and vegetables, microwavable ready meals, sandwich fillings and soft drinks
  • Pura Organic Oil* – organic sunflower oil and rapeseed oil brand first launched in 2010
  • Shippam’s – traditional English brand whose range includes spreads and canned ready meals
  • Trex – home baking brand which is a dairy-free alternative to butter
  • Vier Diamanten – popular Austrian canned fish brand
  • Wielkopolski – cooking oil used for frying, baking, salad dressings, and in cakes and desserts


Princes operates 15 production sites across the globe. These are:

UK food sites:

  • Chichester – on the south coast of England, this site produces a variety of pack formats from cans and jars to pouches and microwavable pots
  • Long Sutton – located in rural Lincolnshire, this site produces a range of canned products including baked beans, vegetables, fruit, pulses, pies, pasta, meatballs and ready meals
  • Wisbech – located in Cambridgeshire, this site produces canned and pouch products including baked beans, soups, pulses, pasta, vegetables and sauces

UK soft drinks sites:

  • Church Stretton – located in rural Shropshire, this site manufactures bottled water. Supply comes four water sources, two supplying spring water and two supplying natural mineral water
  • Eden Valley – set in the Cumbrian countryside, this site draws natural mineral water from what is believed to be one of Europe’s largest aquifers. The site’s water sources are protected, as it is set in an EU Special Area of Conservation
  • Cardiff – produces juice products in cartons
  • Manchester – produces fruit juices in bottle and carton formats
  • Bradford – this site produces squash and carbonated soft drinks
  • Glasgow – supplies canned soft drinks

Edible oils:

  • Belvedere – located in the South East, this site produces olive and speciality oils
  • Erith – located in London, this site produces cooking oil
  • Szamotuły – Located in the north west region of Wielkopolska in Poland, the site primarily produced rapeseed oil.


  • Riche Terre, Port Louis, Mauritius – one of the most technologically advanced tuna processing facilities in the world[7]
  • Foggia, Italy – this factory is one of the most modern and efficient ambient tomato processing facilities in Europe[8]
  • Marine Road, Port Louis, Mauritius - a major processing facility producing tuna loins[9]

Future growth[edit]

Princes has a stated long-term strategy[3] to expand both in the UK and into new international markets by investing in its supply chain through acquisitions, strategic partnerships and organic growth.


  1. ^ "Premier Foods boosts food manufacturer's sales to £1.51bn". Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Princes : About the Company : Our History". Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  3. ^ a b "Insider News North West – Princes targets £2bn after record year". Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  4. ^ Hodgson, Neil (2012-05-03). "Princes Group in Italian production deal - Business News - LDP Business". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  5. ^ "Princes ups profit as UK sales decline". 12 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Princes : Our Brands". Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  7. ^ "Sourcing and Manufacturing". Princes Group. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "Princes to double size of European revenues following acquisition of Italian tomato factory". Princes Group. 3 May 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "Princes Tuna (Mauritius) Marine Road". 

External links[edit]