Burts Potato Chips speeds growth by buying Savoury & Sweet

Burts Potato Chips’ ambition of being the leading UK-owned premium snacking company over the next five years is one step closer with the news that it has purchased Leicester-based Savoury & Sweet. The acquisition is the first made by Burts since being founded in 1997, and will diversify its product portfolio to include a wider range of healthy snacking products as well as popcorn.

Savoury & Sweet is one of the fastest growing players within the popcorn and healthy snacking sector, exclusively making products for UK household-name brands and own-label ranges for leading retailers.

“The Burts business has grown significantly over the last five years, from £11.4 million in 2013 to an anticipated £37 million (post-acquisition) for 2017.” said Burts’ MD David Nairn.  “Whilst impressive, our ambition is to drive the business to over £100 million in the next five years to become the UK’s biggest player within premium snacking. While organic growth of our existing operation in Plymouth is a big part of this and anticipated to reach £70 million, acquisitions of like-minded and complementary businesses will help us accelerate our expansion.”

Burts is privately and proudly British-owned. It has been located in Plymouth since it was started two decades ago and the company has invested over £12m in the last five years increasing capacity to 200 tonnes a week, as well as its fast growing ‘Better for you’ business at its 168-people production facility.

Nairn continues: “To realise our ambitions, it was clear that we needed to expand not only our capacity but also diversify our product portfolio with new technologies and innovations.  Our wish was to achieve this within Burts and extend our own capabilities rather than look at the co-packing arrangements that some of our competitors have used.  We therefore needed to identify high quality existing businesses with a similar ethos of quality as us, but who could offer different snacking expertise and format technology. Savoury & Sweet fulfils both of these aims.”

As part of the acquisition, Burts has purchased the company’s 71,000sqft production facility in Leicester, as well as the offices and warehousing facilities on the site. All 99 employees will be retained and the business will be rebranded as Burts Snacks.

Burts’ aim is to expand its ‘Better for You’ business next year to £30m, creating additional jobs and tripling production capacity through investment in additional lines all within the current footprint of the existing Leicester plant. Plymouth will remain the home of Burts’ iconic potato chip, while the company will be utilising Savoury & Sweet’s frying, baking and popping expertise to expand its ‘Better for You’ business.

Nairn concludes: “This is an exciting time for Burts. NPD is high on our agenda and we are looking forward to bringing new and exciting innovation that will challenge the current UK snack market.”

Burts Potato Chips was founded in 1997 with a mission to create the best tasting snack combining the finest ingredients with first class innovation.  Twenty years on it is still true to these roots and offers a wide range of premium hand-cooked potato crisps, innovations such as Lentil Waves, Quinoa and a range of licensed partnerships with brands such as Guinness, Hobgoblin and Levi Roots to multiple and independent retailers, wholesalers, pubs plus vending and foodservice sectors in the UK.  It has also developed exports to the US, Canada, and EMEA.

Privately and proudly British owned, Burts Chips is located in Roborough (Plymouth), Devon and employs 168 people. The business has grown from £11.4 million in 2013 to £24.5 million in 2016 and is on course to reach £37 million in 2017 through organic growth and the acquisition of Savoury & Sweet.