Northern Bloc in double acquisition and new factory move

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Northen Bloc has acquired Criterion Ices and Marine Ices
Northen Bloc has acquired Criterion Ices and Marine Ices

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Vegan and plant-based ice cream maker Northern Bloc has continued its expansion with the acquisition of two local artisan business and has moved into its new HQ.

The Leeds-based producer has acquired Criterion Ices and Marine Ices for an undisclosed sum, which it said would boost its revenues by an additional £2m.

Northern Bloc also announced that its new 2,787m2 ​factory was now fully operational, increasing the business’ production capacity by 300%.

The factory featured three production lines supported by sustainable technology – purpose-built, energy efficient chilling systems, LED lighting and a heat recovery system – to provide a 40% energy saving.

Partnership and growth

Co-founder and director Dirk Mischendahl said the new production facility and capacity provided the perfect opportunity to secure new partners and grow the business.

"The acquisitions not only open new channels for Northern Bloc as a business, but their infrastructures also give us a dedicated distribution site in London, which we're currently equipping to be able to support our new Leeds HQ,”​ he added.

“The acquisition of two well-established, heritage brands in dairy ice cream will allow us to continue to explore and innovate and develop Northern Bloc's product offer, something which we've always been passionate about.

Heritage and quality

“In time, we'll work with Criterion and Marine to showcase their heritage and quality, whist mirroring the sustainable manufacturing processes of Northern Bloc. We're delighted to welcome these two artisan businesses to the Northern Bloc family.”

In 2021, Northern Bloc received a seven-figure investment boost​ to be used for expansion in the plant-based sector from Mobeus Equity Partners.

Northern Bloc has listings in major retailers such as Ocado, Co-op, Waitrose and Morrisons. Individual tubs are also sold in theatres, arts venues and tourist attractions.

In 2020, Northern Bloc added to its vegan range with a limited-edition chocolate and honeycomb ice cream called The Show Must Go On!, available exclusively in Waitrose. Proceeds from the product are donated to the Theatre Support Fund+, an organisation supporting arts charities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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