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Kettle Chips maker buys stake in Metcalfe’s Skinny

Alice Foster

By Alice Foster+

13-Jan-2016
Last updated on 14-Jan-2016 at 12:53 GMT2016-01-14T12:53:56Z

Kettle Foods md Ashley Hicks with Metcalfe’s Skinny co-owners Julian Metcalfe and Robert Jakobi
Kettle Foods md Ashley Hicks with Metcalfe’s Skinny co-owners Julian Metcalfe and Robert Jakobi

Kettle Chips maker Diamond Foods has bought a 26% stake in the innovative ‘healthy’ popcorn manufacturer Metcalfe’s Skinny.

The deal will support Metcalfe’s Skinny’s growth ambitions, while its existing management team will continue to run the business as an independent subsidiary. 

Kettle Foods md Ashley Hicks welcomed the acquisition of a minority interest by the UK business’s owner Diamond Foods, based in San Francisco, California. 

“We are very excited to acquire an interest in Metcalfe’s Skinny, which is an incredibly innovative, dynamic, fast-growing, premium brand appealing to ‘foodie’ consumers looking for lighter great tasting snacks,” Hicks said. 

‘High growth popcorn snack category’ 

“We look forward to a long-term working relationship with the management team to support their future growth ambitions in the on-trend, high growth popcorn snack category.”  

Itsu and Prêt à Manger founder Julian Metcalfe established Metcalfe’s in 2009 so that he could sell popcorn and healthier snacks to the fast food chains. 

In 2010, Robert Jakobi joined as md of Metcalfe’s, which now sells its products to all major supermarkets in the UK and selected retailers abroad. 

Metcalfe and Robert Jakobi said: “We are very excited about the opportunity to expand the Metcalfe’s skinny brand with the support and expertise of the Kettle organisation. 

‘Showcase the brand’s potential’ 

This is a positive step that we know will not only showcase the brand’s potential but will benefit our customers in the long term too.” 

Metcalfe’s Food Company was hailed as the UK’s fastest growing privately-­owned food and drink firm in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 in December 2014.

Last year, Metcalfe’s split the business in half by demerging Metcalfe’s Skinny popcorn and Asian food­-to­-go brand Itsu Grocery.

Kettle Foods was established in Oregon in 1978 and came to the UK a decade later. The Kettle Chips maker, which has manufacturing facilities in Norwich, was acquired by US snack manufacturer Diamond Foods in 2010.

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