Mergers & acquisitions

Serious Sweets buys classic rock maker

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

John Bull rock has been a feature of Bridlington for over 100 years. Pic: JB
John Bull rock has been a feature of Bridlington for over 100 years. Pic: JB

Related tags Confectionery Candy

The Serious Sweet Confectionery Group (SSC) has snapped up rock maker and wholesaler John Bull Confectioners for an undisclosed sum.

Financial details for the deal, announced by SSC holding company Zubrance, were not disclosed – but the move follows acquisitions of two other confectionery brands - Mighty Fine, a honeycomb products manufacturer, and Mr Stanley’s, an English-style sweets business – in 2022.

The addition of the Bridlington-based business – which was established in 1911 and known for its ‘world famous’ sticks of rock - will significantly grow Serious Sweets’ manufacturing capacity and its ability to support customers with a range of products and formats, the company said in a statement.

SSC is based in Harrogate, also in the north of England, and has confirmed the new company will trade as The Real Candy Co and that all employees will keep their jobs.

Rob Whitehead, a director of SSC, said: “Completing this acquisition changes the game for Serious Sweets, significantly enhancing the products and formats we can offer customers, and growing our capacity.

“We have a strong investment programme to build on the great work done by James and Jo-Anne and we’re very excited about what the future holds. Our management team has strengthened significantly including our broader innovation and marketing skills – key to keeping customers happy and meeting their every need​.”

The latest acquisition by SSC means its brands now have a retail sales value of £10m ($12.36m) and said the move will help it “develop a more sustainable manufacturing footprint​” in the future.

James Hodgson, owner of John Bull, said: “We’re very pleased to have passed on our wholesale/private label business to a team who will invest and develop the site here in Bridlington.

“We will now be focusing on our retail, leisure, and John Bull-branded confectionery business. The opportunity for both companies to really focus and capitalise on future consumer demand looks strong.”

Related topics Manufacturers Candy

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