Unearthed Compleat

Compleat is aiming to be the UK’s number one chilled prepared food company

Compleat Food Group has continued on the acquisition trail, picking up SK Foods and Zorba Foods from the Entrepreneurial Food Group for an undisclosed sum.

The two businesses specialise in private-label chilled party foods, dips and deli fillings, and have a combined turnover of more than £160m, with in excess of 1,150 employees.

It follows Compleat expanding its plant-based portfolio in October last year with the acquisition of organic vegan cheesemaker Palace Culture, as the group builds on its ambitions to be the UK’s number one chilled prepared food company.

“We’re incredibly excited about these two significant additions and what they bring to the group, with both companies having strong heritage in their categories for creating great food that people love,” said Compleat CEO Nick Field.

“We plan to continue investment in both companies to extend their respective capabilities, allowing us to further innovate and inspire within their categories.”

Formed in 1987, Teesside-based SK Foods employs more than 770 staff and specialises in globally inspired party foods, including Indian, Asian, Tex Mex, Mediterranean and traditional British favourites. It holds a market share of about 40% for own-label party foods and became part of the Entrepreneurial Food Group in 1999.

South Wales-based Zorba Foods was founded in 1976 and now employs almost 380 staff. It started out creating Greek houmous, before expanding to cover a range of Greek, traditional, Tex-Mex and Asian-inspired dips and sauces, alongside soups, for retail and foodservice. It holds a 25% share of the private-label dips market and became part of Entrepreneurial in 2003.

Jeremy Faulkner, CEO of SK Foods and Zorba, said: “At the heart of both SK Foods and Zorba is a commitment to real food values. It’s what our reputations have been founded on and why we are able to say we are category leaders.

“With the Compleat Food Group, we have found a natural partner who not only shares our values, but also the ambition to invest and support us in driving further innovation and growth for our categories and key partners.”

Compleat was born in 2021 as French PE firm PAI Partners combined Addo Food and Winterbotham Darby to create a platform to build a chilled foods giant.

It bolted on pie maker Wrights Food Group in 2021 and then picked up assets from the collapsed pork pie maker Vale of Mowbray.

The group employs more than 3,500 staff across 10 sites and has grown revenues to £750m. Its brands also include Pork Farms, Wall’s Pastry, Unearthed, Squeaky Bean and Vadasz, as well as own-label business making pastry, olives and antipasti, continental meats and plant-based products for most of the UK’s largest food retailers and foodservice operators.

“For the Compleat Food Group, these acquisitions [SK Foods and Zorba Foods] accelerate our commitment to build on our breadth of capability, increase our category leadership position, and deliver more excitement and interest to delight our consumers, driving sustained growth in the sector,” added Field.