Potato supplier Albert Bartlett has acquired the Kiddyum brand out of liquidation to secure the future of the kids’ frozen meals producer.
Talks to thrash out a rescue deal have been ongoing since Kiddyum collapsed last month, as revealed by The Grocer.
The deal struck with the liquidator includes the rights to the brand and the intellectual property.
Albert Bartlett said it would continue to work with Kiddyum’s current listings, which include Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Co-op and Nisa, and assess future opportunities for growth in the category.
“We are delighted to welcome Kiddyum to the Albert Bartlett brand portfolio,” said Richard Quinn, MD of the Albert Bartlett group portfolio.
“We have been established since 1948 and remain family owned and run, so there is a real synergy with Kiddyum. We are both focused on providing nutritious, real food for families to enjoy and I’m excited about the future development of the brand.”
Kiddyum, founded in 2011 by Jayne Hynes, had struggled to trade profitably since its incorporation, despite the backing of Albert Bartlett, which acquired a 40% stake in the brand in November 2019.
The business has had long-time listings with Sainsbury’s, where it rolled out in 2015, and Ocado, and also strengthened its position in convenience in May this year with the expansion of its Co-op listings to 400 stores and launching in Nisa.
Hynes posted a statement to LinkedIn as The Grocer went to press with the original story on the liquidation in August that said the collapse “all happened very quickly indeed”.
She added there had been a recent sales uplift in Sainsbury’s following a new, lower selling price for its six-strong range of healthy frozen ready meals aimed at children aged one to four.
“Eight years of my life went into it,” she said. “Listings in four supermarkets, with more to come and new amazing products on the horizon. Co-op, Ocado, Sainsbury’s and Nisa contracts are all well-resourced and the products should fly.”
Kiddyum engaged recovery firm JT Maxwell on 22 July 2020 after running low on cash to keep the company afloat. JT Maxwell placed Kiddyum into creditors’ voluntary liquidation on 10 August.