Burts Potato Chips to accelerate growth with acquisition

Burts Potato Chips has purchased specialist popcorn brand Savoury & Sweet – a move it says will help the snack company accelerate growth over the next five years.

The acquisition of the Leicester, UK-based business is the first made by Burts since being founded in 1997, and will diversify its product portfolio to include a wider range of healthy snacking products as well as popcorn.

David Nairn, Burts’ managing director, says, “The Burts business has grown significantly over the last five years, from £11.4 million in 2013 to an anticipated £37 million (post-acquisition) for 2017.

“Whilst impressive, our ambition is to drive the business to over £100 million 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 £70 million, acquisitions of like-minded and complementary businesses will help us accelerate our expansion.”

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

Nairn continues, “To realise 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 fulfills both of these aims.”

As part of the acquisition, Burts has purchased the company’s 71,000 sq ft production facility, 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 £30m, 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 utilising Savoury & Sweet’s frying, baking and popping expertise to expand its ‘Better for You’ business.

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