10 food and drink firms make Investec Hot 100 list

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Food and drink businesses made up 10% of the total hot 100
Food and drink businesses made up 10% of the total hot 100

Related tags: Drink businesses, Compound annual growth rate, Uk

A smoked fish supplier, the nation’s largest independent cider producer and a label manufacturer are among 10 food and drink businesses to appear on Investec’s Hot 100 list of the UK’s fastest-growing, mid-sized private companies.

Leading food and drink businesses on the list, and in 29th​ overall position, was the Severn & Wye Smokery. With an exclusive client list featuring The Ritz, Claridges and Fortnum & Mason, the supplier of gourmet fish, game and other meat products, has grown turnover from £9.4M to £25.6M in just four years.

The business has achieved four-year compound sales growth of 39% and its latest earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation reached £18.3M.

Second on the list of food and drink businesses featuring in the hot 100 list was vegetable grower AH Worth and Company in 34th​ position. The product range of the Spalding-based business included prepared and frozen vegetables, organic and imported produce.

Suppliers to food manufacturers and retailers – including Morrisons, Aldi and Asda – its sales have tripled in the past four years. The firm’s four year compound sales growth was 38%.

The family-run firm, which employs 708 people, now achieves a turnover of £148.1M with pre-tax profits of £74M.

Largest independently-owned cider maker

Third on the list, in 46th​ position, is Aston Manor Brewery, which is now the UK’s largest independently-owned cider maker and the third largest overall.

Producing about 1M pints of cider every day, turnover stands at £106.7M, up from £79.3M the previous year. Sales have grown by 35% in the past four years.

The top 10 of food and drink sector firms also includes label manufacturer the Reflex Group and energy drinks maker Boost Drinks.

The Reflex Group, in 70th​ overall position, is a specialist printer of self-adhesive labels and flexible packaging, mainly for the food industry.

The firm prints more than 3bn sticky labels a year. Following a series of mergers and acquisitions, its turnover has reached £39.3M, with sales growth of 31% over the past four years.

Second largest energy drinks brand

Boost Drinks, in 76th​ position, is the UK’s second largest energy drinks brand. The Leeds-based business makes about 20 different brands, produces more than 20M products and sells in nearly 20 countries.

It’s turnover is £26.6M and the group has achieved 31% sales growth since 2009.

The Hot 100 list, compiled by Real Business, was devised using compound annual growth rates measured over four years.

Firms on the list have together achieved an average compound annual growth rate of 43% over the period and an average turnover of nearly £142M in their last financial year.

Ed Cottrell of Investec said: “This year’s Investec Hot 100 clearly demonstrates the strength and breadth of entrepreneurial activity and business growth from companies that will continue to be the growth engine of the UK economy for many years to come. It is hugely encouraging to see growth coming from all corners of the UK.”

Future business opportunities

Matthew Rock, co-founder of Real Business, said: “The 2013 Investec Hot 100, published with Real Business, shows where current and future business opportunities lie. The fact that a third of companies listed were also in the 2012 list demonstrates that it is possible to achieve sustainable growth in the UK.”

These companies are keeping themselves relevant in an ever-changing marketplace. Most of all, they never lose sight of their customers, their marketplace and their own people.”

Top position on the list was claimed by Potensial – a business dedicated to providing accommodation and specialist support to adults with learning difficulties.

Compound annual growth of 146% has resulted in the firm’s turnover growing from £1M to £15.2M over the past four years.

Pre-tax profits have grown from £169,444 to £2.4M over the same period.


10 food and drink firms featuring on Investec's Hot 100 list 



Company name

What it does


Latest Turnover


Severn & Wye Smokery

Supplier of smoked fish and poultry

Richard Cook



AH Worth and Company

Innovative veg grower

Duncan Worth



Aston Manor Brewery

Cider producer

Peter Ellis



Westbridge Food Group

Fresh and frozen poultry supplier

Peter McNeil



Speciality Drinks

Wholesale and retail of wines and spirits

Sukhinder and Raj Singh



The Reflex Group

Label manufacturer

Ian Kendall



Boost Drinks

Energy drinks manufacturer

Simon Gray



Fine & Rare Wines

Supplier of fine and rare wines

Graham Sumeray



Hills Prospect

Wines, beers and spirits wholesaler

Alan Saunders, Phillip Merritt and Trevor Bowers



Freeworld Trading

Seeds, grains and dried fruit commodities trading

Dr Sanjoy Das


Related news

Related product

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more