Biscuit International acquires UK’s leading gluten and milk-free biscuit producer

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Biscuit International has acquired UK's leading gluten and milk-free biscuit producer Northumbrian Fine Foods. Pic: ©GettyImages/dusanpetkovic
Biscuit International has acquired UK's leading gluten and milk-free biscuit producer Northumbrian Fine Foods. Pic: ©GettyImages/dusanpetkovic

Related tags Biscuits Euromonitor Gluten-free baked goods Private label New product development

Private label manufacturer Biscuit International has acquired Northumbrian Fine Foods (NFF) from CriSeren Foods to extend its reach in the dynamic free-from market.

According to Euromonitor, gluten and milk-free products are expected to generate £8.7bn in sales in Europe by 2021, a 60% increase compared to £5.4b in 2016.

NFF – the UK’s largest gluten- and milk-free sweet biscuit manufacturer – has experienced strong growth in recent years and posted an annual turnover exceeding £27m in 2017. As well as supplying supermarket own-label biscuits, NFF also owns the Prewett’s brand.

The move is aligned to Biscuit International’s strategy to expand its product offering and geographical footprint in both the UK and EU.

The company is one of Europe’s leading players in the private label sweet biscuit market and owns Groupe Poult in France, Banketgroep in the Netherlands and A&W Feinbackwaren in Germany.

It is owned by French private equity firm Qualium Investissement, employs 1,300 people, and produces 100,000 tons of biscuits and waffles from 12 factories across Europe. It generated €300m in revenue in 2017.

Ambitious move

According to Giampaolo Schiratti, Biscuit International’s CEO, NFF’s expertise in gluten and milk-free biscuit production was a major attraction.

“We aim to further develop the business through innovation and creating exciting new products for the UK and European markets, and anticipate this acquisition will lead our group to become Europe’s largest producer of gluten and milk-free sweet private label biscuits.”

Stewart McLelland, MD of NFF, added Biscuit International’s plans for NFF will further enhance its position as the UK’s number one gluten.

“This acquisition provides the platform for us to expand into Europe where we see significant opportunities for developing the gluten-free biscuit sector,”​ he said.

Senior management at NFF will remain unchanged and they have decided to invest in Biscuit International equity alongside the other Biscuit International senior managers.

Gateshead-headquartered Northumbrian Fine Foods invests heavily in innovation and launched more than 100 new products into the UK retail sector over the past 12 months, for which it has won several accolades.

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