Food-to-go firm Around Noon buys Chef in a Box

Around Noon ceo Gareth Chambers (left) and Around Noon chairman Howard Farquhar (right)

Northern Ireland food-to-go manufacturer, Around Noon, has bought the premium sandwich and snack maker Chef in a Box, for an undisclosed sum.

Around Noon acquired the London manufacturer from Donegal Investment Group, it revealed on Thursday (June 29). The deal would give Around Noon a stronger foothold in Greater London, and provided a platform for further UK expansion, it said.

Chef in a Box’s manufacturing, sales and distribution infrastructure will now be available to Around Noon, as well as its client base.

‘Significant impact in the UK market’

Around Noon ceo Gareth Chambers said: “Chef in a Box is an excellent business with an impressive client portfolio, and acquiring the company from Donegal Investment Group gives us the presence and infrastructure required to have a significant impact in the UK market.”

The food-to-go sector is rapidly growing, and Around Noon was seeking other potential acquisitions across the UK. The food-to-go market was estimated to be worth more than £16bn, driven by the rise of little-and-often shopping, and the popularity of coffee culture, according to the manufacturer.

Around Noon chairman Howard Farquhar said: “Food-to-go is a high-growth category and we see London as a very significant opportunity for us, as well as a platform for further UK expansion, including other potential acquisitions.

“We are delighted to be expanding our geographical reach, adding to our manufacturing capacity and welcoming new colleagues to our business.”

Increase turnover

Around Noon was on course to increase turnover from £14M last year to about £20M, according to a spokesman for the firm. But, the acquisition of Chef in a Box meant turnover could hit more than £40M by the end of the year, it added.

Around Noon makes a range of premium sandwiches, wraps, salads and fruit pots under the Scribbles brand. It also sells cold-pressed juices and bakery items from the Sweet Things brand.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, grocery think-tank IGD said the food-to-go sector was a big opportunity for food manufacturers. Targeting millennials was key to making the most of the sector, which it estimated to be worth £21bn within four years.

Around Noon’s acquisition – at a glance
  • Bought Chef in a Box from Donegal Investment Group
  • Deal to strengthen Around Noon’s UK foothold
  • Seeking further acquisitions

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