Ricky and Sheldon Flax at March Foods

IBC founder Sheldon Flax (l) with son and new group CEO Ricky outside March Foods

Foodservice supplier IBC Simply has snapped up March Foods to boost its food and drink manufacturing and co-packing capabilities.

The deal – for an undisclosed sum – will result in the two businesses coming together under a new parent group: Delightful Food Group.

Delightful Food is headed by IBC Simply co-owner Ricky Flax, who will continue to run the business and drive growth across the newly formed parent group.

March Foods’ operations will remain unchanged, and the entire team will continue to be led by current MD Stephen Dor.

Founded in 1992 and family run, Hertfordshire-based IBC supplies foodservice operators with a range of products such as flavoured syrups for hot drinks under the Simply brand and milkshake mixes under the DinoShakes brand.

Flax said the acquisition would bring “huge benefits” to both companies and their customers.

“We plan to invest in new technologies, enhance our product manufacturing capabilities and open up more opportunities for customers, offering a totally rounded solution,” he added.

“We have been working successfully together with March Foods for many years, and the synergy between product and manufacturing was the perfect match to grow both businesses to the next level. Both brands complement each other and now customers can benefit from the teams across the group, particularly those with unique offerings or who need support with NPD using our combined knowledge and experience in innovation.”

The newly combined group employs about 250 staff and operates from a 120,000 sq ft production and packaging site near Peterborough.

March Foods MD Dor said: “Being a part of the newly formed Delightful Food Group is a hugely positive move for March Foods and will enable the business to develop and grow to the next level thanks to the experience and vision of Ricky Flax and his team, who we already share a close relationship with.

“We’re looking forward to demonstrating the benefits to our customers of this joined-up approach to co-manufacturing and co-packing and seeing the results of the planned investment in the very latest technology, equipment and packaging formats.”