Moorish was founded by Julie Waddell in 2012

Bakkavor has expanded its dips offering with the acquisition of houmous supplier Moorish for an undisclosed sum.

Founded by Julie Waddell in 2012, the business generates annual revenues of about £2m and is stocked by the major supermarkets and independent retailers.

Bakkavor said the brand complemented its dips business and provided “an attractive opportunity” to extend Moorish into a broader range of Mediterranean products.

Moorish will sit alongside other brands Bakkavor is working with, including Pizza Express, the Delicious Dessert Company, the Pizza Company and, more recently, Pinch.

Managing director Andy Atherton will remain in a consultancy role to support the brand transition to Bakkavor ownership.

“Since starting from my kitchen table in 2012, it’s been quite a journey to see the business grow into what it is today,” Waddell said.

“I’m incredibly proud of what Moorish has achieved and have thoroughly enjoyed growing the brand and product range from scratch to success with my team. I feel very fortunate that for the last 12 years my job has been to create innovative, delicious products that are loved by consumers across the UK.

“In Bakkavor, there are so many great opportunities still to explore with the brand and I will enjoy watching Moorish flourish as the new owners take it to the next level.”

Bakkavor CEO Mike Edwards added: “The high-quality, innovative Moorish products will be a great addition to our existing brands and will complement our existing dips business.

“The Moorish brand has so much more potential than just houmous and we are excited about expanding it into other relevant Bakkavor categories in the future. We’d like to congratulate Julie, Andy and the team on the great brand they have built and are looking forward to it growing further under our ownership.”

Separately, Bakkavor lifted profit expectations for this year as it returned to volume growth in the UK in the first quarter.

Group like-for-like revenues increased by 3.2% to £543.3m in the 13 weeks to 30 March, driven mostly by a 4.1% uptick in the UK to £458.4m.

The prepared food manufacturer attributed the UK performance to improving consumer confidence, successful innovation and “excellent” service.

Revenues in the US fell 5.8% to £57.7m in line with expectations as the group focused on accelerating profit improvement in the region.

Bakkavor added it had seen a “strong” profit performance in Q1.

It lifted adjusted operating profit forecasts for the year to a new range of £103m to £108m.

“Last year we executed a dynamic plan to reset the business and I am delighted that the momentum this has created across the group has underpinned our strong Q1 performance,” Edwards said.

“All three regions are making excellent progress against the group’s strategic priorities of rebuilding margins and reducing leverage and, as a result, we are confident in delivering our increased guidance for 2024.”