Snyder’s-Lance Buys British Popcorn Maker

By Lauren R. Hartman, Product Development Editor

Sep 06, 2016

Metcalfes Skinny PopcornSnyder's-Lance, Charlotte, N.C., has purchased the remaining interest in a British popcorn maker called Metcalfe's Skinny Limited. Announced on Sept. 1, the deal is the company's latest in the "better-for-you" snack category that also seeks to take advantage of a fast-growing European snack segment.

Snyder's said Metcalfe’s is the U.K.’s leading premium popcorn brand that also makes a variety of corn and rice cakes. The U.K. popcorn market has grown by 45 percent over the last two years, Snyder’s said.

Snyder's Kettle Foods subsidiary completed the acquisition of Metcalfe by acquiring the remaining 74-percent interest in the leading U.K. premium popcorn brand. Kettle Foods had initially acquired a 26-percent stake in the business from Metcalfe in January 2016. Metcalfe was founded in 2009 by Julian Metcalfe, the co-founder of Pret A Manger and founder of itsu, a British chain of Asian-inspired fast food shops and restaurants, and a grocery company.

Consumers are increasingly seeking better-for-you snacking options. The addition of Metcalfe's to the UK's leading premium chip brand, Kettle Chips, reflects Kettle Foods' ambition to evolve into a more widely based premium snacking leader in Europe.

"We see tremendous growth in the U.K. with additional opportunities for further international expansion for our innovative collection of snacking brands," said Carl E. Lee, Jr., president and CEO of Snyder's-Lance.

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