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April 6, 2022

Post Holdings-owned Weetabix snaps up UFit protein shakes firm Lacka Foods

Lacka Foods was founded in 2012 by managing director Austin Bailey.

By Simon Harvey

Post Holdings-owned UK-based breakfast cereal maker Weetabix has acquired Lacka Foods, the producer of the UFit brand of protein shakes.

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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 price paid for Lacka Foods, founded in 2012 by managing director Austin Bailey, was not disclosed by Weetabix.

Privately-owned Lacka Foods, located in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, north of London, manufactures high-protein and fibre shakes fortified with vitamins and minerals, including UFit 50 and lower-calorie UFit Lite. The range also has a vegan, plant-based option made with pea protein and coconut milk.

US-based Post acquired Weetabix for GBP1.4bn (then US$1.8bn) in 2017 from Chinese state-backed majority shareholder Bright Food Group and an investment fund advised by Baring Private Equity Asia.

Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire-based Weetabix said in a statement: “The all-cash deal, backed by Post Holdings, unites two of the UK’s market-leading food and drink businesses and unlocks growth opportunities for Lacka Foods both in the UK and in international markets.”

Post-transaction, Lacka Foods will operate as an independent company and the current management team will remain in place.

Bailey added: “Securing investment from a like-minded British business and family favourite such as Weetabix is a transformational step in the Lacka Foods story and will help accelerate our pace of growth in a rapidly expanding category both here in the UK and internationally.”

The UFit range, which also includes on-the-go protein snacks Crunchers, is sold into UK retailers.

Weetabix also has its own high fibre, protein drinks – Weetabix On the Go, while Post Holdings supplies its Premier Protein line of shakes and powders in the US.

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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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