Burts buys popcorn maker Savoury & Sweet

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Burts's md David Nairn has ambitious growth plans
Burts's md David Nairn has ambitious growth plans

Related tags Snack food

Burts Potato Chips has purchased Leicester-based popcorn and healthy snacks firm Savoury & Sweet for an undisclosed sum in its first acquisition since the company was founded in 1997.

The acquisition will enable Burts to diversify its product portfolio to include a wider range of healthy snacking products, said the company. Savoury & Sweet makes popcorn and healthy snacks for other UK brands as well as own-label products for retailers.

“The Burts business has grown significantly over the last five years, from £11.4M in 2013 to an anticipated £37M post-acquisition  for 2017,”​ said Burts’s md David Nairn. “Whilst impressive, our ambition is to drive the business to over £100M in the next five years to become the UK’s biggest player within premium snacking.

‘Anticipated to reach £70M’

“While organic growth of our existing operation in Plymouth is a big part of this and anticipated to reach £70M, acquisitions of like-minded and complementary businesses will help us accelerate our expansion.”

Burts has been located in Plymouth since it was started two decades ago and the company has invested over £12M in the last five years, increasing capacity to 200t a week and employing 168 people.

“To realise our ambitions, it was clear that we needed to expand not only our capacity but also diversify our product portfolio with new technologies and innovations,”​ added Nairn.

“Our wish was to achieve this within Burts and extend our own capabilities rather than look at the co-packing arrangements that some of our competitors have used. We therefore needed to identify high-quality existing businesses with a similar ethos of quality as us, but which could offer different snacking expertise and format technology. Savoury & Sweet fulfils both of these aims.”

As part of the acquisition, Burts has purchased Savoury & Sweet’s 6,596m2​ production facility in Leicester, as well as the offices and warehousing facilities on the site. All 99 employees will be retained and the business will be rebranded as Burts Snacks.

Expand Better for You Business

Burts’s aim is to expand its ‘Better for You’ business next year to £30M, creating additional jobs and tripling production capacity through investment in additional lines all within the current footprint of the existing Leicester plant. Plymouth will remain the home of Burts’s potato chip brand, while the company will use Savoury & Sweet’s frying, baking and popping expertise to expand its ‘Better for You’ business.

“This is an exciting time for Burts,”​ said Nairn. “NPD is high on our agenda and we are looking forward to bringing new and exciting innovation that will challenge the current UK snack market.”



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