Kiddyum - now backed by Albert Bartlett

Kiddyum - now backed by Albert Bartlett

Albert Bartlett, the UK potato company, has diversified through taking a 40% stake in Kiddyum, a local firm making frozen-food for children.

Richard Quinn, Albert Bartlett's portfolio managing director, will support Manchester-based Kiddyum's strategy, based around healthy products, and help guide the business' next stage of growth alongside its founder and managing director Jayne Hynes.

Hynes is now the company's second-largest shareholder, with a stake size "marginally behind" Albert Bartlett's, while the remaining shares are held by minority stakeholders.

The financial details of Albert Bartlett's investment were not disclosed.

Hynes said: "We're at an important stage in the company's development so it's great to get the backing of such a large, successful business - especially one that's so well aligned with all of our values.

"With the breadth of the team's experience we can further the development of the Kiddyum brand and bring the meals to even more parents looking for a genuinely healthy alternative to home cooking."

Quinn added: "At Albert Bartlett, we're passionate about driving a healthier future for children's food, and we believe frozen plays a big part in this: Kiddyum has been quietly spearheading a revolution in the category and we're excited to help drive the business to the next level and extend coverage.

"We're a fantastic fit, as quality ingredients and a passion for helping children eat well are at the heart of both businesses' DNA. We've come on board at a really exciting time in Kiddyum's growth, and will work together to capitalise on increased consumer demand for healthy frozen foods."

Kiddyum launched in UK big four supermarket Sainsbury's in 2015 after winning a start-up competition and has since secured listings in Co-op and with online retailer Ocado.

The firm's better-for-you frozen mini meals are aimed at children aged one to four. All are "ethically packaged" and contain no added sugar and are low in salt. Following recent additions, its range now includes six stage three ready meals.

Last month Albert Bartlett, took over the Spudulike baked potato restaurant chain. The UK business collapsed earlier this year.