Simply Fit, which is based at Drogheada in the Irish Republic, will continue to trade under its existing brand within the Around Noon group. Founders Evelyn Garland and Luke Judge will remain as shareholders and will continue to manage the business.
The deal represents the latest in a series of acquisitions for the manufacturer – Chef-in-a-Box in 2017 and Sweet Things in 2016. Around Noon chief executive Gareth Chambers said that the purchase was strategically very significant for the company.
“This acquisition will provide us with a foothold in a new and fast-growing segment of the market,” said Chambers. “Sales of health-related foods grew to over £773m in the UK last year and 64% of UK consumers say they have purchased health foods. This is only likely to grow further.”
Cross-selling the Simply Fit brand
“There is a fantastic synergy between the two companies and the opportunity to cross-sell between our respective client-bases. Luke and Evelyn have created a strong brand and their business shares a very similar ethos to Around Noon, as a company that is passionate about healthy food and about serving its customers.”
Around Noon planned to invest in a refresh of the Simply Fit brand and product range – as well as an investment in environmentally friendly packaging – to help double annual sales and create stronger presence in multiple and convenience retail.
Evelyn Garland and Luke Judge, founders of Simply Fit Food, added: “We have watched Around Noon make a real impact in the food-to-go-space across the UK and Ireland.
“We have been so impressed by the team’s energy, drive, and ability to continuously spot trends in the market early and capitalise on them. It’s a great coming together of two very complementary businesses and we are incredibly excited about the opportunity.”
Established in 1989 by the Chambers family making sandwiches for local businesses in Newry, Northern Ireland, Around Noon has expanded to four manufacturing sites across the UK and employs 300 people.
It supplies a range of sandwiches, wraps, salads, fruit pots and cold pressed juices to customers including forecourt and convenience retailers and cafes.
Meanwhile, 2 Sisters Food Group has confirmed that it has sold part of Fox’s Biscuits to 'a Ferrero-related company' in a £246m deal, including its Batley and Kirkham factories – two sites primarily involved in the production of biscuits.