Wessanen, the Netherlands-based food business that went private last year under new ownership, has acquired Little Lunch, a German manufacturer of organic soups and sauces.

The Whole Earth peanut butter and Kallo rice snacks brand owner did not reveal the purchase price for Little Lunch, which was founded in 2014 by brothers Denis and Daniel Gibisch. The company, based in the city of Augsburg, Bavaria, produces organic soups, including gluten-free and vegan and vegetarian options, for retail customers in Germany.

Its sauces consist of Bolognese, Thai curry and tomato, among others, and all Little Lunch products are made with natural ingredients with no added sugar, colourings or preservatives. 

The deal, which is subject to competition approval in Germany, fits with Amsterdam-based Wessanen’s strategy to focus on organic products within the European market. “Organic and vegetarian meals are a core category for Wessanen, and Germany, as the biggest organic market in Europe, is of strategic importance”, it said in a statement. In Germany, Wessanen markets brands including Allos organic food.

Wessanen CEO Christophe Barnouin said: “We are happy with this fast-growing and strategic acquisition and look forward to welcoming the Little Lunch team to our family of companies. We believe that the integration of Little Lunch will gives us many opportunities in this important country and across Europe.”

Last year, Wessanen was acquired by private-equity firm PAI Partners and the company’s largest shareholder, Charles Jobson, for EUR885m (then US$1bn). It de-listed its shares from the Amsterdam stock exchange last November as it went private under the new owners.

The Gibisch brothers added in the statement: “We have built up Little Lunch with a lot of love and passion and made it a success in Germany. Among all possible partners we looked at we found the fit with Wessanen the strongest. We are excited about the new opportunities that will come out of working together with such a strong partner at our side.”

See just-food’s analysis on Wessanen: What does the future hold for Wessanen under private ownership?