The Leeds-based branded meal and snacks manufacturer, whose brands include Mug Shot, Chicken Tonight and RAGU, estimates sales to Walmart are on track to deliver $17.5m (£13.3m) over the next two years.
The company initially struck a deal last year with Walmart to list five Naked Noodle products in over 3,000 stores. Sales of those five products alone meant that Naked was on track to be a top five brand within Walmart’s dry soup category by the end of October, Symington’s claimed.
On the back of this initial success, a further 13 listings were achieved in February across Symington’s Naked and Twistd ranges, in more than 2,000 Walmart stores. These include four Naked Rice products, five Twistd couscous variants and four Twistd rice products.
‘Foothold in US’
“Getting a foothold into the US market is notoriously difficult for British food manufacturers, especially one of our size,” said David Cox, chief executive officer of Symington’s. “It has been a huge achievement for the business and testament to the fantastic branding and quality of both Naked and Twistd.
“The Walmart tie-up is part of our ambitious international plan over the next three years and our strategic approach to take back control, concentrate on our own brands and exit from licensed manufacturing agreements. We are having a number of joint discussions on future product innovation so hopefully the listings are just the beginning of an ongoing strategic relationship.
“Our plans are fully focused on extending Twistd into the US, just as we have already achieved with Naked.”
The Naked brand includes instant noodle and rice pots, soup sachets and pouches as well as noodle-based ramen soups.
Food Manufacture Excellence Awards
Its success with Walmart was recognised this year in the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards, where the Symington’s team won the prestigious ‘Export Award’.
Symington’s launched its Twistd brand a year ago, offering flavoured couscous, super grains, grains and pulses, flavoured risotto, wet cup soup sachets, snack pots and world flavoured rice.
The initial deal with Walmart was for five variants of Naked snack pots (Thai Sweet Chilli, Thai Green Curry, Japanese Teriyaki, Chinese Chow Mein and Singapore Curry). The second deal covers:
- four Naked Rice products, (Thai Sriracha, Japanese Katsu, Chinese Char Siu and Szechuan Sweet & Spicy);
- five Twistd cous cous variants (Mexican Smokey, Italian Zesty Lemon & Sunflower Seed, Mediterranean Chargrilled Vegetable, Italian Sundried Tomato & Chilli and Moroccan Fruity);
- four Twistd rice products (Jamaican Rice & Peas, West African Jollof Rice, Mexican Smoked Paprika & Lime and Singapore Savoury). The most recent launches in October, include two Naked Big Eat Noodle Pots (Chinese Chow Mein & Japanese Teriyaki) & Naked Ramen Soups (Pad Thai, Vietnamese Vegetable Pho, Chinese Hot & Sour & Thai Coconut & Lemongrass).
Symington’s operates in the ambient food sector across multiple grocers and convenience, both in the UK and internationally, employing 900 people.
Based in Leeds, it has four sites, three in West Yorkshire and a wet meals & soups facility in Consett, Durham. It was established in 1827 by William Symington initially supplying tea, coffee and groceries before the founder invented instant soup and expanded into other dried foods.