Six food and drink firms feature in hot 100 list

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Alcoholic beverage, Confectionery, Firm, Uk

Sweet spot: best selling products such as the Butterkist brand helped Tanergine win a place on the hot 100 list
Sweet spot: best selling products such as the Butterkist brand helped Tanergine win a place on the hot 100 list
Alcoholic drinks maker Halewood International, egg products producer Noble Foods and sweet maker Tangerine Confectionery are the top three food and drink firms included in a list of 100 British private companies with the fastest growing profits.

They are joined by three other firms – frozen food supplier Fullers Foods, beer and cider brewery Aston Manor Brewery and food and drink distributor Grocontinental.

Halewood International appeared at number 41 in the hot 100 list, compiled by The Sunday Times​, after reporting a 70.8% increase in annual profit growth. The firm’s latest profit was £17.6M.

The Merseyside firm, which employs 1,020 staff, makes the best selling drink Lambrini with sales of 20M a year.

Halewood’s range  – including Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer – is sold to 40 countries. The firm is also the UK distributor of Chinese beer Tsingtao and Lamb’s Navy Rum.

Higher-margin products

The judges attributed the firm’s performance to focusing on more efficient production and higher-margin products.

Noble Foods was listed in 48th​ place and reported profits up by 66% to reach £26.9M. Based in Tring, Hertfordshire, the firm delivers 72M eggs each week, mainly to leading leading supermarkets.

The firm also produces poultry and owns desert maker Gu.

Tangerine Confectionery, ranked in 60th​ place, recorded profits up 56.9% at £13.7M.

The Blackpool-based firm claims to be the UK’s largest independent manufacturer of sweet treats. Included in its range are wine gums, liquorice allsorts and Butterkist Popcorn.

Tangerine has made acquisitions from Burton Foods and Cadbury. Last year it snapped up the iconic brand Highland Toffee.

Efficiency savings were said to have played a key role in its profit performance.

Top three firms in the Profit Track 100 list were life insurance specialist Partnership, pharmaceuticals maker Auden Mckenzie Group and credit card operator SAV Credit.

The 100 firms show a combined average profit growth of 70% a year to achieved profits of £1.2bn.


Together the firms employ 60,750 people and added 23,600 jobs last year – mostly as a result of acquisitions.

Business trends highlighted in the latest survey included: overseas expansion, tighter cost control, buying rivals and launching new products or services.

Meanwhile, two firms which showed impressive growth but did not make the hot 100 list were East Kilbride bakery products supplier Enterprise Foods and market research agency Euromonitor.

Hot 100 food and drink firms


  • Halewood International, ranked number 41
  • Noble Foods, ranked 48
  • Tangerine Confectionery, ranked 60
  • Fullers Foods, ranked 71
  • Aston Manor Brewery, ranked 84
  • Grocontinental, ranked 94

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