British producer Burts Potato Chips’ announces the purchasing of Leicester-based Savoury & Sweet, the first acquisition since Burts has been founded in 1997. This will diversify its product portfolio to include a wider range of healthy snacking products as well as popcorn.

Savoury & Sweet is one of the fastest growing players within the popcorn and healthy snacking sector, exclusively making products for UK household-name brands and own-label ranges for leading retailers.

“The Burts business has grown significantly over the last five years, from GBP11.4m in 2013 to an anticipated GBP37m (post-acquisition) for 2017,” said Burts’ MD David Nairn.  “Whilst impressive, our ambition is to drive the business to over GBP100m in the next five years to become the UK’s biggest player within premium snacking. While organic growth of our existing operation in Plymouth is a big part of this and anticipated to reach GBP70m, acquisitions of like-minded and complementary businesses will help us accelerate our expansion.”

Burts is privately and proudly British-owned. It has been located in Plymouth since it was started two decades ago and the company has invested over £12m in the last five years increasing capacity to 200 tons a week, as well as its fast growing ‘Better for you’ business at its 168-people production facility.    

Nairn continues: “To realize our ambitions, it was clear that we needed to expand not only our capacity but also diversify our product portfolio with new technologies and innovations. Our wish was to achieve this within Burts and extend our own capabilities rather than look at the co-packing arrangements that some of our competitors have used. We therefore needed to identify high quality existing businesses with a similar ethos of quality as us, but who could offer different snacking expertise and format technology. Savoury & Sweet fulfils both of these aims.”

As part of the acquisition, Burts has purchased the company’s 71,000sqft production facility in Leicester, as well as the offices and warehousing facilities on the site. All 99 employees will be retained and the business will be rebranded as Burts Snacks. 

Burts’ aim is to expand its ‘Better for You’ business next year to GBP30m, creating additional jobs and tripling production capacity through investment in additional lines all within the current footprint of the existing Leicester plant. Plymouth will remain the home of Burts’ iconic potato chip, while the company will be utilizing Savory & Sweet’s frying, baking and popping expertise to expand its ‘Better for You’ business.

Nairn concludes: “This is an exciting time for Burts. NPD is high on our agenda and we are looking forward to bringing new and exciting innovation that will challenge the current UK snack market.” 

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