Aussie cooking icon Maggie Beer’s food business is on the nose with part-owner Primary Opinion writing down the value of its investment by $8.5 million.

The Maggie Beer business lost $2.1 million last year on revenue of $18 million, according to documents released today by Primary (ASX:POP).

Primary bought 48 per cent of the legendary Aussie chef’s business in July 2016 for $15 million.

Just a year later, new chief executive Laura McBain has written down the value of the investment to just $5.5 million.

Ms McBain has been in the top job at Primary for only a month, resurfacing at the ASX minnow after she was removed from infant formula maker Bellamy’s last year.

Ms McBain told shareholders she was “working closely with the Maggie Beer team to increase our understanding of their future growth trajectory and how we can assist Maggie Beer Products to achieve positive outcomes that reflect the premium nature of its brand and place in the Australian food industry”.

The write-down pushed Primary to a loss of $10.3 million compared to a loss of about $650,000 last year.

“The increased net loss is mainly due to accounting for the company’s share of losses of MBP [Maggie Beer Products], amounting to $1,020,726 and impairment of its investment of $8,478,057 during the period,” they said in a statement.

“There has been a lot of working going on with the team to grow the business and we will be working to rationalise the product range and focussing on the products that give the most value,” Ms McBain told Stockhead.

“We will be pulling together a new strategy down the track and POP is poised to look at other opportunities in the food industry, products that are similar to Maggie’s and can leave a great legacy.

“No cheese board will be without the quince paste… or the ice creams afterwards.”

Primary had $4 million in the bank at the end of June.

Primary’s shares were down 3 per cent at 32c in lunchtime trade, valuing the company at $23.6 million.