Business

Around Noon acquires Simply Fit Food in strategically significant deal

Around Noon chief executive Gareth Chambers (left) with Evelyn Garland and Luke Judge, co-founders of Simply Fit Food

AWARD-winning food-to-go manufacturer Around Noon has signed on on a significant acquisition to diversify its product offering and grow sales in the UK and Ireland market.

The Newry-headquartered business has acquired Simply Fit Food, which supplies a range of convenience meals made from wholesome, natural ingredients online as well as through multiple and convenience retailers.

The deal will see Simply Fit Food continue to trade under its existing brand within the Around Noon group.

Evelyn Garland and Luke Judge, founders of Simply Fit Food, will remain shareholders and continue to operate and manage the business as a unit within Around Noon.

Around Noon, which employs more than 300 people, supplies a range of high-quality sandwiches, wraps, salads, fruit pots and cold pressed juices to customers including forecourt and convenience retailers and cafes.

The deal is the latest in a series of acquisitions made by Around Noon, including the purchase of London-based Chef-in-a-Box from Donegal Investment Group Plc in 2017.

Around Noon also markets bakery items from its in-house operation, Sweet Things, which it acquired from Dublin-based owners in 2016.

As part of the purchase of Simply Fit Food, Around Noon plans to invest substantially in a refresh of its brand and product range, including an investment in new environmentally friendly packaging. Its plans include doubling Simply Fit Food’s annual sales in just 12 months and creating a stronger presence for the brand in multiple and convenience retail.

Around Noon's chief executive Gareth Chambers said: “This acquisition will provide us with a foothold in a new and fast-growing segment of the market. Sales of health-related foods grew to over £773million in the UK last year and 64 percent of UK consumers say they have purchased health foods. This is only likely to grow further.”

“There is a fantastic synergy between the two companies and the opportunity to cross-sell between our respective client-bases.

“Luke and Evelyn have created a strong brand and their business shares a very similar ethos to ours, as a company that is passionate about healthy food and about serving its customers. We look forward to working with Luke and Evelyn and to growing the business strongly together,” he adds.

Evelyn Garland and Luke Judge said: “We have watched Around Noon make a real impact in the food-to-go-space across the UK and Ireland. We have been so impressed by the team’s energy, drive, and ability to continuously spot trends in the market early and capitalise on them. It’s a great coming together of two very complementary businesses and we are incredibly excited about the opportunity.”

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Business