UK food group Winterbotham Darby has announced it has acquired a stake in local dips-to-tapas business G’Nosh for an undisclosed sum.

Winterbotham Darby, the owner of the Unearthed brand and private-label supplier of products from antipasti to frozen desserts, said the deal would see it move into the UK chilled dips category.

Citing data from Kantar Worldpanel, the company said the category was worth GBP156m (US$210.2m) and in “strong growth”. G’Nosh, set up in 2012, has listings with The Co-operative Group, Waitrose and Ocado.

Winterbotham Darby added it would look to help G’Nosh “grow beyond the core range of award-winning dips that have developed a loyal following over the last three years”.

G’Nosh founder Charlotte Knight remains a “significant shareholder” in the business and will join Witherbotham Darby. The company already plans to launch more products and revamp its packaging this summer. “The shift is about us growing up as a brand,” she said.