Glisten creates new premium snack segment

By Karen Willmer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Snack food

UK-based Glisten has created a new premium savoury
snacking division with the acquisition of Dormen Foods, the
company said.

The £7.45m (€11m) acquisition of Dormen adds premium nuts, savoury snacks and seed-based salad toppings to Glisten's premium snack portfolio, operating alongside the company's premium confectionery division and its natural, cereal and fruit snacks division. The premium snack market is steadily growing -- following an increase in consumer wealth and the demand for functional foods with health benefits -- due to concerns about weight and obesity. A study by Leatherhead Foods earlier this year suggested that the best sectoral growth in the industry is expected in the healthy bakery and snacks segments worldwide. The Dormen acquisition, the first step in creating the company's new division, is part of Glisten's strategy for expansion within the premium snacking and confectionery industries. "The acquisition is bang-on strategy and absolutely consistent with our goal of being leaders in delicious natural, functional, premium confectionery and snacks,"​ said Glisten's chief executive Paul Simmonds. Glisten said the snacking nut market grew by 8.2 per cent to £315m in the year to February 2007. "Dormen's recent re-branding has positioned it as a leading brand in the premium sector of this large market,"​ Glisten said on Friday. The company said it was interested in Dormen due to its "recognised expertise in sourcing, blending and seasoning nut and seed mixes",​ its "excellent"​ product quality, and the company's "strong relationships with the foodservice and impulse sectors - distribution channels where Glisten is currently under-represented". ​As part of the acquisition, Glisten will spend £260,000 on transferring Dormen's Swindon factory to a new site. "This spend will also provide new equipment which more than doubles existing capacity and gives new capabilities in baked nuts and organic snacks,"​ said Glisten. ​The companies expect this site transfer to be complete by the end of September 2007. "Dormen is an excellent addition to our group. It broadens our reach and takes us into the most dynamic area of the savoury snacks market with a truly premium brand which we feel is a rising star capable of stretch,"​ Simmonds added. "It is an excellent platform for further acquisitions in this sector."​ The company also announced on Friday its 50 per cent joint venture with Skinny Candy, in a bid to expand into the healthier confectionery market. According to a Letherhead Foods study in June, the overall market for "low and light" products in the US, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Australia was worth a total of €49bn last year. The report said UK consumers spent the most on these foods per capita, throwing €122 per person at these foods, compared to American spending of €93, and €86 in Australia. Glisten manufactures organic and natural snacks and premium confectionery within the UK and to over 20 countries worldwide. The company has two nut-free and two organic-accredited factories in the UK. Turnover for the year ended 30 June 2007 was £58.6m (€86.3m), Glisten added.

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