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Innovative Bites plans American range at Hancocks depots after acquisition

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By Oliver Nieburg+

19-Apr-2017
Last updated on 19-Apr-2017 at 11:42 GMT2017-04-19T11:42:51Z

American confectionery range to be sold across Hancocks' 20 UK sites. Photo: Innovative Bites
American confectionery range to be sold across Hancocks' 20 UK sites. Photo: Innovative Bites

Innovative Bites' founder says the company plans to stock an American range at all Hancocks Holdings depots after acquiring the UK wholesaler.

Innovative Bites last week snapped up Hancocks for an undisclosed sum from H2 Equity Partners.

It marked its largest acquisition and came a year after Innovative Bites purchased confectionery business Bonds of London , which has doubled its annual turnover since the takeover.

American range

Vishal Madhu, founder of Innovative Bites, told ConfectioneryNews: “Initially we plan to introduce an American range into all the depots and access the wider customer base which has now become available.”

Innovative Bites

Photo: Innovative Bites

Innovative Bites supplies products to major UK supermarkets such as Tesco, Aldi, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons. Earlier this month , it reported a 25% annual increase in orders from the big five UK supermarkets in the last 12 months.

Innovative Bites launched in the UK in 2008 and now sells around 3,500 products, including many major American brands such as Twinkies and Warheads to its 7,000 retail customers.

It operates the trade website American Wholesale, and claims to be Europe’s largest importer of American food & drinks products.

The company became the UK distributor of Trolli Candy last December.

‘No changes to staffing’

The combined Innovative Bites group will have a sales team of more than 150, and will serve around 40,000 customers with a confectionery portfolio of over 7,000 products.

Madhu said: “For the foreseeable future there will be no changes to staffing. Wayne Beedle will be the new enlarged group CEO.”

Beedle – formerly CFO of UK firm Tangerine Confectionery – has been Hancocks' CEO since January 2015.

Hancocks wholesale

Hancocks is a UK cash and carry wholesaler that stocks goods from leading manufacturers such as Haribo and sells them to small retailers. It also sells products under its own brands.

Madu said: “There will be no changes to the Hancocks’ own brands at this time.”

Hancocks offers around 5,000 branded and own label products across 20 UK sites, stretching from Dundee to Portsmouth.

H2 Equity Partners acquired the company for around £50m ($78m) in November 2012.

Former owners Andrew and Adrian Hancock stood down following the sale. The company was set up in 1962 by the brothers’ father.

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