Compagnie Léa Nature has acquired the bulk business unit belonging to fellow French organic food producer Biothentic.

ABCD Nutrition, Biothentic’s owner, has agreed to hand over the bulk foods side of the business for €3.5m ($3.8m).

The brand’s bulk segment produces chocolate-covered nuts, seeds, popcorn, legumes, rice, and other grains.

Léa Nature is looking to build its activity in bulk foods production, which it has been focused on establishing for the French market with its Jardin Bio organic foods brand since 2023.

Meanwhile, ABCD Nutrition has said the sale of Biothentic’s bulk operations will enable it to hone in on gluten-free products and fresh breads production.

The Oise-headquartered organic foods producer owns three other labels. These include the organic baker Moulin, and gluten-free food manufacturers Naten and Céliane, which are sold to retail.

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In a statement, Bruno Pierre, the CEO of ABCD Nutrition, said: “ABCD Nutrition, leader in innovation, has created this organic bulk market with Auchan in 2010 and has participated over the years in developing this model.

“The decision to disengage from bulk is for two reasons: refocusing on our original activities to consolidate our positions as leader in gluten-free in France and leader in fresh organic bread in the Parisian region and in the south-east, and help create a challenger in this bulk market.

“The [transaction] with Léa Nature was natural due to the great respect I have for its founder and his values and for the group’s ability to develop. We transmit commercial activity, but also complete production and sector know-how.”

For Léa Nature, the purchase intends to boost its “sustainable growth strategy and our commitment to offering organic and affordable in price, respectful of the environment and the health of our consumers”, CEO Charles Kloboukoff, said in a statement.

He added: “The increase in our supply volumes of organic and non-organic raw materials processed is an important key to lowering prices and achieving economies of scale in buying at source.”

Explaining the reason behind the company’s growing focus on bulk organic foods, Karl Le Floch, bulk sales manager at Léa Nature, said: “As a pioneer in [organic foods at scale] and a major player in its market, bulk has established itself at Léa Nature as essential for the ecological transition”.

Léa Nature has a portfolio of natural and organic food products under the brands Jardin Bio, Carte Nature, Vitamont, Mamie Bio and Karéléa. It also owns a number of organic cosmetics, personal care and household goods.

Its food products are sold nationally and in Europe through major retailers like Carrefour and specialty brick-and-mortar and online stores.

Other recent acquisitions from the company include an investment in French crêpe maker Jarnoux last year and the Italian organic group Bio Organic Italia in 2022.

Based in the south-western region of Périgny-La Rochelle, Léa Nature has more than 2,000 people working across 22 production plants in France.

In 2023, the company’s annual turnover reached €488 million.