The Serious Sweet Company (SSC) has struck its third UK confectionery deal this year, snapping up the Lexi’s brand owner Nom Bites.

SSC’s M&A trail is getting longer, with transactions already under its belt in 2023 for the private-label and wholesale manufacturing arms of John Bull – renamed The Real Candy Co. – and Mallow & Marsh.

Last year, the Harrogate-based business acquired the Mighty Fine honeycomb brand, along with the Mr Stanley’s line of boiled sweets, fudge and toffee.

London-based Nom Bites, commonly known and trading as Lexi’s, was founded in 2020 by Alexei Khatiwada. The company makes protein bars and “mallow crispy rice treats” that are free from gluten, egg, milk, nuts and soy. The products are sold directly to consumers and online with Amazon and Ocado.

Rob Whitehead, the founder and managing director of SSC and CEO of the holding company Zubrance, did not disclose the purchase price for Lexi’s.

“Gluten-, dairy- and nut-free bars fit perfectly into our stable of current brands, enabling us to offer customers a combination of indulgent treats and more healthy treats, ideal for customers with specific dietary needs, or those looking for a healthier snack,” Whitehead said in a statement.

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“We will be sharing the range with our customers over the next few months and look forward to developing Lexi’s alongside all our brands over the next few years.”

Lexi’s Khatiwada said: “I’m proud that Lexi’s has helped deliver more inclusive treats to a mainstream audience and it’s been a pleasure to see the growth of the brand, which started in my home kitchen and has now sold millions of treats across the UK.

As well as its own brands, which also include the debutant Ultimate English line, SSC supplies private-label sweets to retailers such as Asda and Aldi. Whitehead has set up SSC Brands to manage the branded side of the portfolio.

SSC is on a “mission to be the first port of call for crafted English confectionery, and to ensure that from fudge to mallows, toffees to honeycomb, brittles to butterscotch and ices, every batch is a delicious moment in time”.