ben jackson capsicana

Capsicana founder Ben Jackson will remain with the brand following the deal

Patak’s and Blue Dragon owner AB World Foods has expanded its repertoire of international brands with the acquisition of Latin American sauce challenger Capsicana, The Grocer has learned.

Capsicana founder Ben Jackson launched the business on a market stall in 2009 after being inspired by his travels around Latin America.

The brand’s range of premium pastes, seasoning mixes, kits, salsas and tortillas are today stocked by Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Ocado and Booths.

Capsicana joins AB World Foods’ lineup of Patak’s, Blue Dragon and Al’Fez. The Associated British Foods division also distributes Levi Roots and Tabasco in the UK.

An AB World Foods spokeswoman said the company was “committed to developing our existing brands whilst at the same time exploring the acquisition of potential new brands in existing and emerging world foods and condiments categories”.

She added the business looked forward to working with Jackson to “deliver strong growth and exciting plans” for the Mexican and Latin American ambient grocery categories.

“This category is an exciting space thanks to a growing interest in Latin American cuisines, such as Mexican, Argentinian, Peruvian and Brazilian, as well as a desire from consumers for product formats beyond kits to cook these dishes at home.

“We look forward to working with our retail partners to create new value for the Mexican and Latin American categories and inspire more people to cook a broader weekly repertoire of meals.”

The terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Jackson will continue working at the business, with a number of financial performance targets in place as part of the acquisition related to potential future earn-outs, The Grocer understands.

“I am proud of the many Great Taste Awards that our products have been awarded and the incremental growth that Capsicana has delivered to the category,” Jackson said.

“I would like to thank my incredible team, suppliers and retail partners that have played such a huge part in the brand’s success so far. I very much look forward to working with the AB World Foods team to build exciting plans for Capsicana in the coming years.”

Capsicana raised more than £220k in a crowdfunding campaign in 2017, backed by 306 investors.

A number of crowd backers have complained on the Crowdcube discussion board of a lack of communication around the deal and that the sale was at a lower price than they invested five years ago, subject to purchase price adjustment and earn-outs.