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December 17, 2015

Lotus Bakeries buys Bear snacks owner Urban Fresh Foods

Belgium-based Lotus Bakeries has struck its second acquisition in the UK in four months with a move to buy Bear snacks owner Urban Fresh Foods.

By Dean Best

Belgium-based Lotus Bakeries has struck its second acquisition in the UK in four months with a move to buy Bear snacks owner Urban Fresh Foods.

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The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
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The deal, announced today (17 December), follows Lotus’ purchase in August of 67% of Natural Balance Foods, the UK firm behind snack bar brands Nakd and Trek.

“As a group, Lotus Bakeries wants to offer both more indulgent specialties and healthy snacking alternatives,” Lotus CEO Jan Boone said: “We recognise there is a growing global demand for healthy alternatives hence we invested in Natural Balance Foods in the summer and now are delighted to add the brands of UFF. With this acquisition we will lead the way and become the true category captain of the healthy snacking category in the UK and abroad.”

The deal will see the UK become Lotus’ largest market by sales, Boone added. The company did not disclose how much it had agreed to pay for Urban Fresh Foods but said the price was equal to 14 times expected earnings before taxes.

Urban Fresh Foods was set up in 2007 by husband and wife Andrew and Hayley Gait-Goulding, who launched the company’s first brand, Urban Fruit. Two years later, former Innocent Drinks executive Giles Brook invested in the company and the trio launched the Bear brand.

The group has seen its sales grow at an average rate of over 50% in the last six years. It forecasts sales will reach GBP27m in 2016.

In August, Brook told just-food Urban Fresh Foods was looking at ways to expand internationally and had been in “exploratory” talks with a number of parties to weigh up ways to further build its presence outside the UK.

The Gait-Gouldings and Brook will stay on under the new owners. In a joint statement, they said: “Lotus will help us maintain our growth story in the UK, where Bear has become the number one kids’ fruit snacking brand. In terms of overseas markets, Lotus will be an invaluable partner when it comes to the internationalisation of our two brands.”

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Free Report
img

What’s the forecast for the food and grocery industry?

The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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