Lion Capital to acquire Kettle Foods as natural snack market expands

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Kettle foods, Nutrition

Kettle Foods, the company behind the popular Kettle Chips brand,
looks set to be acquired by private equity firm, Lion Capital - a
sign of its growing importance in the healthier snack market.

The Company which is the market leader in both the US and the UK for organic potato chips, specialises in producing natural snacks free of artificial flavours, colourings and Trans fats, and is estimated to generate over €115m in profits during this financial year.

The acquisition of such a popular consumer brand for Lion Capital would give them a major foothold in the natural snack foods sector, which the Organic Trade Association (OTA) claims grew by 18.3 per cent last year to around €520m.

An industry source suggested that the acquisition fitted Lion Capitals strategy of "purchasing fashionable and respected Brands."

With continued growth widely expected in the natural snack sector, competition is already heating up with major players including Frito-Lay having introduced their own brands of Kettle Cooked, and Natural Thick Cut Potato Chips to cater for the health conscious consumer.

Founded in 1982, Kettle Foods began life as the sole producer of hand made potato chips in the Western US, in an early attempt to cash in on the health foods market.

Though kettle chips were not produced organically until 1989, they have continued to lead the market by keeping the product free of hydrogenated oil and reducing its saturated fat content to 10 per cent.

The merger would see Kettle Foods added to Lion Capital's already attractive portfolio of food brands including Weetabix, Orangina and the French preserve company Materne.

Related topics: Ingredients

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