Finsbury strengthens position in low-fat cakes market

By Charlotte Eyre

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

Capitalising on the booming low fat foods market, Finsbury will now
distribute Weigh Watchers cakes in the UK thanks to its acquisition
of Anthony Alan Foods, the company announced today.

The £50,000 move will help consolidate Finsbury's position as one of the UK leaders in creating and distributing "healthy" cakes, increasingly popular with consumers who perceive traditional cakes as having an unhealthy sugar and fat content. "This acquisition complements the Group's focus on the premium, celebration and health sectors,"​ said Finsbury chief executive Dave Brooks. ​Brooks told that the company had been interested in Anthony Alan Foods for over two years now, however serious discussions began about six weeks ago. The Anthony Alan Foods company was originally founded in 2001 to develop a cake brand with Weight Watchers, one of the largest manufacturers of low fat and "healthy" packaged foods in the country. According to Finsbury, the Weight Watchers brand is the largest in the low fat cake sector with a market share of 58 per cent that is up 15 per cent year-on-year. "Finsbury currently produces nearly 60 per cent of the Anthony Alan Foods product range,"​ said Brooks. "This deal means we will be able to drive the growth of the business further and develop the product range." ​Brooks also said that the growth in the low-fat cake market shows no sign of slowing, and that consumers are slowly coming around to the idea that they can taste as good as traditional, high-fat recipes. "We need to make low fat cakes sexy,"​ he explained, "and Finsbury is committed to doing this by creating better and better recipes and expanding our product range." ​Earlier this month, the company said that operating profit for the year ended 30 June 2007 had increased thanks to healthy sales in the low-fat and premium markets. "We opened the year with annualised sales of around £90m and our annualised sales for the year to June 2008 are now forecast to exceed £150m, which makes us the number two player in the UK cake industry,"​ Brooks said at the time.

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