The Acquisitions, The Mergers and The Sheese
In this newsletter, we’ll be covering everything food, ingredients and beverages – from new product launches, leadership movements, the investments being made and secured by the exciting and fast-growing. If it involves the food industry we’ll be talking about it.
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There is nothing I love more than an evening with a cheese board and a bold Cabernet Sauvignon. Yet, with everything that is going on in the world with climate change, I’m beginning to think twice about my Friday evenings and how my own dietary choices are impacting our environment. But, all is not lost – there is a way I can enjoy a cheese board without feeling like I’m just another part of the problem. Albeit, they are yet to find a way to remove the calories from the latest alternative cheese products!
So this week, we’re looking at the alternative cheese world. The latest acquisitions, the greatest investments and the tastiest cheeses from across the globe.
As your tastebuds begin to somersault, let’s dive in…
The Cultured Nut was acquired back in 2021 by The Very Good Butchers (TSX: VERY), which we mentioned in one of our recent newsletters, for a steal at a little under CAD 3 million as The Very Good Butchers looked to expand their revenue streams. This listed company has been somewhat challenged since its IPO in 2020, although has recently undergone some key leadership changes to help steer the company into a profitable state.
The new leadership team now includes some genuinely talented people, and I’m sure we will continue to see nut-based cheese products from The Cultured Nut and The Very Good Cheese Company well into the future. My Friday nights are depending on it.
My next pick was somewhat of a late bloomer. Founded in 1994 and acquired by Ms Deborah Dawson in 2003, Bute Island Foods has now been a producer and supplier of dairy, lactose, gluten free and non-GMO vegan cheese products in the UK for nearly two decades.
Ms Dawson's "Sheese" brand is now award-winning and stocked in stores right across Europe, Canada, Australia, Asia and South Africa, as well as a successful distribution agreement with Ocado. This would be a huge demand for a company with a modest manufacturing facility in Rothesy but having undergone a recent acquisition by the Canadian global dairy processor Saputo, this is no production or distribution miracle, and as Saputo also acquired another UK-based cheese producer Wensleydale Dairy Products in 2021, this was likely part of building a more prominent strategic foothold in the UK as their records show only 6% of Saputo’s operations are UK focused. This is somewhat astonishing as they hold ownership of the highly successful, market-leading Cathedral City and Clover brands under Saputo Dairy UK.
So, Sheese is definitely here to stay; with a now global position for a product stemmed from humble beginnings, Deborah Dawson makes it onto our 2022 list of incredible leaders in the food, ingredients and beverages industry.
This next company, and this week, my final, is providing cheese ingredients to organisations which is then placing their products on the shelves of nine out of every ten stores in the UK and Ireland. Ingredient Solutions is not 100% plant-based, but they do have a vegan range which means they can slip by in this week's newsletter. But what is most interesting about this company is a recent acquisition by the family-owned and operated Austrian cheese company, Rupp AG. Rupp is Austria’s largest dairy producer and currently exports to 65 countries across the globe.
The full story of the origins of the Rupp corporation is somewhat inspiring, although not a story I’m looking to re-tell here. Rupp explains that this acquisition was also to help aid in their international expansion, but when you look at the two businesses side-by-side, they could almost be carbon copies in their operation and product range, so I’m expecting little heartache in merging the organisations here as this was an April 2022 acquisition.
The first part of our guide on How to Select an Executive Search Firm in the Food and Ingredients Industry is now publically available for all those that haven't seen it yet - you can download it HERE.
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Placing Top Leaders Within The Global Food, Ingredients and Beverages Industry