You wouldn’t suspect anything unusual upon stumbling across the premises of no. 5 Paddy’s Drive in the rural-urban fringe town of Delacombe, Victoria.
Yet it is here that a hive of 30 busy employees are working tirelessly to produce the little elliptical sweets that may just be rattling around right now inside your back pocket.
Ferndale Confectionery’s story is one of sustained growth through years of hard work, dedication and inspiration. From the well-loved JILA mints to the favourite LICORETTE range, over 30 million packs of Ferndale products find their way onto our palate each year internationally.
For General Manager Leigh Edward, the family business’ success began like many passionate start-ups: with a small budget and a big vision. 22 years ago, Edwards’ father Bruce left his posting as Snickers’ Global Brand Manager – and struck out on his own as an entrepreneur.
With a strong ‘free-from’ focus – sugar-free, fat-free, natural colour and flavour – and best practice manufacturing and management systems, Ferndale now punches in the same rink with large multinationals and continues to keep its finger on the pulse of consumer trends – both locally and abroad.
‘One of the beautiful things about our products is that they usually have a two year shelf life that is not affected by heat. I can land a packet of our product anywhere in the world for a competitive price.’ Edward here reveals the Ferndale mindset that drove it toward success. A powerful long-term vision for high quality products, value for money, and consumer satisfaction clearly drives all choices the company makes.
From that small start-up stage less than a quarter of a lifetime ago, Ferndale exports to 14 markets around the world. Where could they have never imagined their products being stocked – what is the biggest surprise? ‘We have 4000 distribution points in China, 500 in Vietnam, 1000 in Japan.’