Popcorn factory

South Yorkshire Foods makes 120,000 bags of 100g popcorn a down at its Sheffield factory

Snacking firm Mackie’s at Taypack has rescued one of the UK’s largest independent own label popcorn manufacturers from administration in a pre-pack deal, saving the jobs of 60 staff.

The deal will enable the business, which is currently rebranding following a recent deal by the Taylor family to buy out its share of the snacking joint venture from partner Mackie’s of Scotland, to bring popcorn production in-house.

It purchased the business and assets of Sheffield-based South Yorkshire Foods from administrators at recovery firm Mazars for £700,000, according to a report into the downfall of the popcorn maker.

It is the second time in the space of three years the business has appointed administrators, with South Yorkshire Foods being formed from the collapse of Thomas Tucker in 2019.

South Yorkshire Foods produces 12 tonnes of popcorn per day at its factory to supply a host of supermarket and wholesale customers, including the ‘Big Night In’ range for the likes of Asda, Iceland and B&M.

The business filed for administration on 8 September after struggling in the aftermath of Brexit and the pandemic and, more recently, with soaring input cost inflation and energy bills.

The pre-pack deal doubles the headcount at Perthshire-based Taylor Snacks to 120 staff and forms part of its organic and acquisitive growth strategy.

Taylor Snacks, previously known as Mackie’s at Taypack, has been making crisps under the Mackie’s branding since 2009. Its range of crisps will be rebranded as Taylors Snacks next year.

MD James Taylor said the addition of the popcorn manufacturing business made for “a really exciting time” to be at Taylors.

“South Yorkshire Foods produces a high-quality product packed with flavour, something we pride ourselves on at Taylors Snacks,” he added.

“The new business move will not only add an array of dedicated, talented staff, it will also add to our ever extending range of products. It made sense right away.”

Taylors traces its roots back to 1927 when James Taylor’s great-grandfather started a potato farming business. It now produces more than two million bags of snacks every month from a facility near the Taylor family farm in Perthshire and has expanded the offering into popcorn and popped chips in recent years.

“It’s another milestone of growth for us at Taylors Snacks, expanding the business in multiple ways is top of our agenda and we’re glad to be making positive steps towards that,” Taylor said.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming the new staff into what is an incredible team here at Taylors Snacks.

“By working hard to create a product that customers around the country love, we’re certain that the purchase of South Yorkshire Foods will be a huge success, adding value and quality to our already much-loved snack range.”