Organic cereal firm bought by former Cadbury bosses

By Noli Dinkovski contact

- Last updated on GMT

New management team (l-r): Simon Baldry, Andrew Baker, Primrose Matheson, Matt Baker
New management team (l-r): Simon Baldry, Andrew Baker, Primrose Matheson, Matt Baker
Organic breakfast cereal company Primrose’s Kitchen has been acquired by an investment vehicle headed by three former Cadbury Schweppes executives.

PK Ventures is backed by a team of investors that includes the Government’s food waste champion Ben Elliot. By growing Primrose’s Kitchen’s product range and markets, it aims to more than double sales to £1.75m by next year and to £5m within five years.

Its management team comprises managing director Matt Baker, chairman Andrew Baker, and Simon Baldry. Each has more than 30 years’ board-level experience in the food and drinks industry and worked together as executives at Cadbury Schweppes.

Every one of the management team and backers has made a personal financial investment in the new venture, PK Ventures said.

Primrose Matheson, who founded the Dorset-based business five years ago, retains a seat on the board. She will continue to champion the brand, particularly across social media channels, where her organic, vegan and gluten-free foods recipes and healthy lifestyle tips draw a large following.

New owners share passion

Matheson said she was “really proud” ​of her business and what it stood for, so it was important for her that the new owners shared her passion.

She said: “I really could not have wished for a better team to help take the business to the next level. Not only do they have extensive top-level food industry experience, they bring expertise and commitment on environmental issues and a strong philanthropic record to the mix.

“I’m looking forward to working with them on new products, new markets and an even greater focus on sustainability.”

Matt Baker said Primrose’s was a “truly exceptional business”​, based on differentiation and product excellence, supplying an ever-growing demand for organic, vegan and gluten-free foods, which are sustainably sourced.

“We’re delighted that Primrose will remain central to our plans to grow the business through range and market development, both in the UK and in selected export markets,”​ Baker said.

‘Garden centres, farm shops and foodservice’

“We see tremendous potential for the Primrose’s Kitchen brand, not only with supermarkets and premium retail, but also in hospitality, hotels, garden centres, farm shops and foodservice.”

PK Ventures investors include Dorset-born Elliot, who was appointed last year by environment secretary Michael Gove to be the Government’s first food surplus and waste champion.

Other major investors are Andy Cosslett, chairman of Kingfisher and the Rugby Football Union. Cosslett was also a senior board member at Cadbury Schweppes.

He is joined by adventurer and environmental campaigner Sir David Hempleman-Adams. Hempleman-Adams was the first person in history to reach the geographic and magnetic North and South Poles, and was sponsored by Cadbury for a number of expeditions.

Primrose’s Kitchen’s Muesli, Granola and Porridge are currently stocked by Waitrose, Ocado, Whole Foods Market and independent retailers across the UK.

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