Metcalfe’s Skinny and Itsu to form separate firms

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Left to right: Jakobi and Metcalfe
Left to right: Jakobi and Metcalfe

Related tags: Supermarket, New product development, Retailing

Metcalfe’s Food Company aims to split in half, forming separate businesses for its Metcalfe’s Skinny popcorn and Asian food-to-go brand Itsu Grocery to enable greater focus on each.

The business said that the demerger, which is scheduled to take effect on June 1, had been sparked by the strong and rapid growth of both brands. It clocked up sales of £9.1M in the past full year to May 31, representing growth of more than 200% over the past three years.

Food entrepreneur Julian Metcalfe founded Metcalfe’s in 2009, so that he could sell popcorn and healthier snacks to the Itsu and Prêt à Manger retail chains he also founded.

Fastest growing

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

Claudia Santagada and Max Rees have been appointed as the new mds of Itsu Grocery and Metcalfe’s Skinny respectively.

Both teams would increase the number of their staff by more than a third following the restructure, Metcalfe’s said.

NPD plans

“It was important for us to build a long lasting structure so we can satisfy the increasing demand for our current lines and our exciting NPD ​[new product development] plans,”​ said Jakobi, now ceo for Metcalfe’s skinny and Itsu Grocery.

We have created two distinct teams to run each brand. I can’t wait to get cracking and see us reach the potential I know we have.

Metcalfe, founder and creative director for Metcalfe’s Skinny and Itsu Grocery, commented: “It is true testament to our incredibly passionate team that this demerger has happened as fast as has. We have grown at such an incredible rate.”

Related topics: Ambient foods

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