Butterkist purchased by KP Snacks

Popcorn manufacturer Butterkist has been purchased by KP Snacks

Hula Hoops manufacturer KP Snacks has acquired popcorn brand Butterkist from Tangerine Confectionery for an undisclosed sum.

The purchase will secure the jobs of 140 employees at Butterkist’s manufacturing site in Pontefract, West Yorkshire.

KP Snacks ceo Mark Thorpe said: “Butterkist is an iconic brand with a 100-year heritage and the number one branded popcorn in the UK.  

“I am delighted that we have this opportunity to add Butterkist to our existing portfolio, as we seek to offer consumers and customers a comprehensive UK snacking category proposition. We look forward to welcoming our new Pontefract colleagues and the Butterkist brand to KP.”

Enter the growing popcorn market

The purchase of Butterkist will see KP enter the growing popcorn market – 14.6% year-on-year growth to £100M in 2016 – according to Kantar Worldpanel.

Commenting on the sale, Tangerine ceo Anthony Francheterre said: “We are proud to have been instrumental in Butterkist’s development and pleased to pass the baton to KP Snacks to continue its success story.

“We believe this announcement is good news for both parties and confirms Tangerine’s focus on sugar confectionery, accelerating the development of our iconic brands Barratt, Dip Dab, Fruit Salad and building a stronger category with our customers.”

Established in 1914 in the US, Butterkist came to the UK after the Second World War to sell branded popcorn directly to cinema chains.

Sold to Tangerine in 2008

The brand was sold to Cadbury in 1998, before being merged with the confectionery manufacturer’s Monkhill Confectionery subsidiary in 2000. Butterkist, along with other Monkhill brands, were sold to Tangerine in 2008.

The past month has seen a number of acquisitions by food and drink businesses.

Snack manufacturer Tayto Group’s sister company Montagu Group has acquired another vending machine firm, in a multi-million pound deal that will see Tayto’s products feature in 5,300 more vending machines in the south-west and south Wales.

Meanwhile, Artisan bakery and foodservice chain Lagkagehuset has been acquired by holding company Nordic Capital from its majority shareholder FSN Capital for an undisclosed sum.

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