GK Investments Limited, a subsidiary of GraceKennedy Limited has acquired a 33.3 per cent stake in Gray’s Pepper Products Limited, one of Jamaica’s largest processors of seasonings and sauces.
Acquisition of the shares will allow for the investment necessary to grow the business’ current product portfolio locally and internationally, GraceKennedy said in a release.
The investment will further accelerate plans for research and development that will result in a more compelling and diverse product offering, it said.
A family-owned and operated business, Gray’s Pepper will continue to be led by Andrew Gray, the company’s Managing Director since 1995.
In expressing his approval of the investment by GK Investments, Gray said “the business relationship with GraceKennedy and Gray spans over 46 unbroken years. We have always viewed GraceKennedy as our partner and have now just formalized it.”
He added that with the partnership GraceKennedy will now be fully vertically integrated with respect to their hot pepper sauce, from farm to table.
“We see this as a win-win situation and now expect our company to become the largest sauce producer in the Caribbean by the end of 2018,” Gray said.
Group CEO of GraceKennedy, Don Wehby said the investment in Gray’s Pepper Products is in keeping with its continued commitment to Jamaica’s agro-processing industry.
“We fully support developing our home-grown produce into creating value-added products in order to successfully compete on the world market,” he said.
“There is great demand for Grace hot sauces and jerk spice products globally and this investment will build the capacity of Gray’s Pepper to further contribute to our supply chain. This is in keeping with our mission to take the taste of Jamaica to the world,” Wehby added.
Gray’s Pepper Products was established by Lloyd W. Gray almost 50 years ago. It operates from a 20,000 square foot modern manufacturing facility and has an extensive supply network of farmers.
Based in Savannah-la-Mar, Westmoreland, the business specializes in producing pepper sauces. The current portfolio of products includes the Gray’s brand of Hot Pepper Sauce, Fish & Meat Sauce, Habanero Sauce, Scotch Bonnet Sauce, Jerk Sauce, and Jerk Seasoning. It also provides private labelling for several Jamaican brands including Grace.