Sara Lee, the beloved dessert brand behind popular frozen cheesecakes, crumbles, and pies, goes into voluntary administration

Sara Lee products against ice-cream background
The beloved confectionary company is crumbling. Photo credit: Sara Lee

Beloved dessert brand Sara Lee, best known for its range of frozen cheesecakes and crumbles, has gone into voluntary administration.  

Vaughan Strawbridge, Kathryn Evans and Joseph Hansell of FTI Consulting were on Tuesday appointed as voluntary administrators to either sell or restructure the Australian business, according to reports.   

First established in Lisarow, New South Wales, Sara Lee has been selling its confectionary goods for over half a century, becoming a tried-and-trusted staple in many Kiwi kitchens. New Zealand supermarkets continue to stock a range of Sara Lee products, from its range of frozen cheesecakes, apple pies, crumbles and Danishes to its tiramisu and semifreddo.   

In a statement, administrator Strawbridge said the firm is working with Sara Lee's management and staff to continue operations while the future of the business is "secured".  

"We are immediately commencing a process to sell or restructure the business and continue its long history of manufacturing in Australia," Strawbridge said.  

"We expect a lot of interest in the business and will work with those parties and stakeholders to achieve an outcome as soon as possible to secure the ongoing business and provide clarity to its loyal and committed staff and customers."  

Strawbridge said about 200 staff are currently employed at its manufacturing facility in Lisarow, about an hour north of Sydney. 

The Australia-based manufacturing business trades as Sara Lee under license from the global owner of the trademark, with rights to operate in Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, ABC News reports.  

New Zealand private equity firm South Island Office acquired Australia's Sara Lee from McCain Foods in 2021.