Symington’s snaps up The Tanfield Food Company

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cooking Symington

The Tanfield Food Company makes a range of gourmet convenience meals
The Tanfield Food Company makes a range of gourmet convenience meals
Symington’s has bought gourmet meals business The Tanfield Food Company, which was set up by the makers of Phileas Fogg potato chips.

The Yorkshire food manufacturer behind major brands including Chicken Tonight, Ainsley Harriott, Ragu, Aunt Bessie’s, Jane Asher, Mugshot and The Food Doctor, has bought Tanfield’s Consett-based business and assets for an undisclosed sum.

Tanfield was established by the same people who set up Derwent Valley Foods, maker of Phileas Fogg crisps, which makes long shelf-life convenience foods under the brand Look What We Found.

Pressure cookers

The recipes are cooked in pouches in steam pressure cookers, after being prepared by gourmet chefs. They include Duke of Northumberland Estate venison in Damson Sauce and Citrus Braised Herdwick Mutton and Cumbrian Lamb Hotpot.

Ingredients for the dishes come from smaller local producers. The products are sold by Waitrose, Booths and Ocado.

“Tanfield complements the Symington’s business and the acquisition will leave us well placed to continue our growth in the ambient convenience foods market and develop our brand range,”​ said John Kitson, finance director of Leeds-based Symington’s.

Long-standing client

Corporate lawyers at Walker Morris advised Symington’s on the acquisition. “Symington’s is a long-standing client of the firm and we are delighted to have advised them on this latest acquisition,” ​said Richard Naish, the corporate partner who led the legal team.

“We have advised on a number of key corporate deals for Symington’s in the past including its acquisition of Victoria Foods and its acquisition of the Ragu and Chicken Tonight brands from Unilever.”

Other brands from Symington’s include Golden Wonder The Nation’s Noodle and Oat Burst Porridge. The company was founded in 1827.

In April this year, Symington’s relocated its noodle production from China to a £2.5M new factory in Hunslet, near Leeds, creating 50 jobs​. At the time, Symington’s said it expected to create a further 75 jobs in the following 12 months.

For details of the wide range of jobs available in food and drink manufacturing, visit FoodManJobs​ today.

Related topics Ambient foods

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