Ingredients Maker Meadow Acquires Sauces Maker Naked Foods in the United Kingdom

Meadow, an ingredients maker specializing in dairy, confectionery, and plant-based products, based in Chester, United Kingdom, acquired Naked Foods, a sauces maker specializing in plant-based products, based in Kent, United Kingdom, on August 3, 2023. Meadow said the deal strengthens its position as a trusted partner of bespoke, critical food ingredients to famous brands. 

Transaction Summary

Our Take on the Acquisition

Meadow (acquirer) acquired Naked Foods (target) to expand its own product portfolio to include specialty plant-based products, such as sauces, purees, and fillings. Naked Foods’ revenue is under GBP £5.0 million (USD $6.4 million), making the acquisition small. The revenue the acquisition generates will represent less than a 1% increase in revenues for Meadow. But we expect Meadow will continue to invest in Naked Foods to expand its capacity.

The Facts of the Acquisition

  • Target: Naked Foods is a UK-based fruit pieces and confectionery, sauces, fillings, and compotes (fruit stewed in a sugar syrup) manufacturer. It makes bespoke plant-based products for UK and Irish food companies, based on their requirements. Products include fruit pieces for yogurts, ice cream, and dairy drinks, and sweet and confectionery fillings for bakery and dessert products.
  • Acquirer: Meadow is a value-added ingredients business – the ingredients are improved during production – specializing in dairy, confectionery, ice cream, prepared foods, and plant-based industries. It operates four facilities and supplies large consumer brands, such as Ambrosia and Yeo Valley, in the UK market.

Did You Know?

Value-added ingredients are raw or pre-processed foods whose value is raised by processes, such as mixing and pre-slicing, or by adding other ingredients. The added value is often driven by customer needs and perceptions.

The Transaction

Date:August 3, 2023
Purpose: To expand Meadow’s product portfolio.
Acquirer’s Statement:Raj Tugnait, chief executive of Meadow – “For some time our customers have been urging us to enter the sweet sauce category. It is an adjacent category and a natural extension to what we already do. There is a gap in the market for an agile player who can develop, scale-up and manufacture fruit preparations and Naked Foods has an enviable reputation for its quality and nimbleness. The team and culture felt right to be part of the Meadow family. Adding sweet sauces allows us to further diversify our portfolio and strengthen our position as a leading supplier of quality food ingredients. Meadow has a three-pronged growth plan – organic; growing with our existing customers and in existing categories, inorganic; building new capabilities in house; and finally acquiring quality businesses that will complement Meadow and make it a better proposition for its customers. Naked Foods fits perfectly with that plan.”

Target/Seller: Naked Foods

Company Information

Target:Naked Foods
Industry: Food and Beverage Manufacturing
Employees:6 (Self-published on LinkedIn)
Locations:Head Office: Smarden Road, Headcorn, Ashford, Kent, United Kingdom

Product Information 

Products:Plant-Based Yogurts and Desserts – Fruit purees, fillings, and sauces
Plant-Based Ice Creams – Ice cream made from fruit ripples (thin lines of sauce or syrup put through the ice cream), sauces and syrups, fruit purees, coulis, and compotes
Bakery and Confectionery Products – Confectionery sauces, fillings, and toppings
Market Reach:Ireland
United Kingdom

Financial Information 

Revenue:Up to GBP £5.0 million (USD $6.4 million) (Unconfirmed source: ZoomInfo)
Revenue per Employee:Up to GBP £833,333 (USD $1.07 million) (i.e., GBP £5.0 million / 6 employees = GBP £833,333 – estimated based on the self-published number of employees and the revenue from ZoomInfo)

Did You Know?

The United Kingdom is a leading consumer of plant-based products. Between 2020 and 2022, for example, the value of UK plant-based milk sales increased 24% to GBP £276 million (USD $341 million), according to NielsenIQ and the Good Food Institute Europe.  

Target/Seller Overview: Naked Foods

Naked Foods is a manufacturer of fruit and confectionery preparations, sauces, fillings, and compotes, that is, whole fruit or chunks of fruit stewed in a sugar syrup, in the United Kingdom. It aims to create tasty, quality products from natural fruit and plant-based raw materials. It supplies bespoke products to other food manufacturers, and its products are sold in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Naked Foods produces sauces, fillings, and other foods for food manufacturers in the United Kingdom.

Buyer/Acquirer: Meadow

Company Information

Industry: Food and Beverage Manufacturing
Type:Private with two rounds of private equity funding
Employees:500 (Source: Naked Foods)
Investor:Exponent: A private equity firm investing in transformations. The company is based in London, United Kingdom. The investment was made in 2018 and the sum was undisclosed.
Paine Schwartz Partners: A private equity firm specializing in sustainable food chain investing, based in New York, United States. The investment was made in 2016 and the sum was undisclosed.
Locations:Head Office: Rough Hill, Marlston-cum-Lache, Chester, United Kingdom
Regional Office #1: 1 Whitehead Drove, Fengate, Peterborough, United Kingdom
Regional Office #2: Station Lane, Holme Upon Spalding, Moor, Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Subsidiary: Marian Mawr Industrial Estate, Dolgellau, United Kingdom

Product Information 

Products:Butter, Butteroils, and Ghee – Butter churned from fresh cream and derivative products
Chocolate Crumb – Compound ingredient made from sugar, milk, and cocoa liquor
Milk and Milk Products – Milk, cream, skimmed milk, condensed milk, and other milk-derived products
Plant-based Diary Alternative – Dairy-free milk, yogurt, custard, cream, and soft cheese
Soft Cheese and Set Cultured Products – Cream and cream products, yogurt, soft cheeses
Cereal – Wheat, malted and rice cereals
Sugar Products – Flavored and colored sugar used as toppings and sprinkles
Soft Caramel and Fudge – Flavored confectionery made with caramelized sugar and butter
Hard Caramel and Toffee – Flavored confectionery made with caramelized sugar and butter
Honeycomb – Sugary toffee with a light, ridge, sponge-like texture
Marshmallow – Confectionery made with sugar, water, and gelatin whipped to a solid but soft consistency
Meringue – Candy from whipped egg whites and sugar
Pretzel – Salty and sweet crunchy snack
Caramel Chocolate – Coating of caramelized white chocolate
Market Reach:United Kingdom

Financial Information 

Revenue:GBP £550 million (USD $702 million) – Source: company website
Revenue per Employee:GBP £1.1 million (USD $1.4 million) (i.e., GBP £550 million / 500 employees = USD $1.1 million – estimated based on the number of employees from Naked Foods and revenue from the company website)

Buyer/Acquirer Overview: Meadow

Meadow is a value-added ingredient business specializing in the dairy, confectionery, prepared foods, and plant-based industries. Since its launch as a dairy trading company in 1992, Meadow has grown both organically and through acquisition into a GBP £550 million revenue business. It operates four facilities and caters to the UK market. (Dairy trading companies trade, import, and export dairy ingredients.)

Meadow operates four facilities in the United Kingdom.

Previous Acquisitions by Meadow

  • Nimbus Foods (2019) – A manufacturer of toppings, and decorations for a wide variety of bakery products. The company is based in Wales, United Kingdom
  • Roil Foods (2018) – A producer of a range of butter oil from milk fat without water, which can be used to produce chocolate and other products. The company is based in Wrexham, United Kingdom
  • Fayrefield Liquids (2017) – A trader of milk-based products in Bristol, United Kingdom
  • Nene Valley Foods (2009) – A producer of milk and dairy products. The company is based in Peterborough, United Kingdom
  • West Lake Dairy Park (2007) – A manufacturer of dairy products in the United Kingdom

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