Kettle Foods MD Ashley Hicks with Cornpoppers former owner Balvinder Nijjar

Snack producer Kettle Foods has expanded its popcorn footprint with the acquisition of Cornpoppers for an undisclosed price.

West Midlands-headquartered Cornpoppers, established in 1979, was a privately owned family business supplying branded and private label popcorn products to retailers and wholesalers.

It follows the takeover by Kettle’s US owner last year of Metcalfe’s Skinny as the snack maker sough to capitalise on the booming category.

The addition of Cornpoppers to its brand portfolio represented a further commitment to meet the high expectations of customers and consumers, and to the long-term future of the popcorn category, Kettle said.

“The acquisition of Cornpoppers is the next exciting step in our transition to build Kettle Foods into a dynamic European snack foods business,” Kettle MD Ashley Hicks added:

“We’re confident that this will create more opportunities with our trade partners in jointly evolving the full potential of the popcorn category and look forward to welcoming the team at Cornpoppers to Kettle Foods and working with them on making great tasting popcorn.”

Former Cornpoppers Balvinder Nijjar said: “With the support and expertise of the Kettle Foods’ team, I am delighted about the opportunity for Cornpoppers to expand and bring our snacking talents together.”

It is the latest acquisition in the popcorn market, following the purchase of market leading brand Butterkist by KP Snacks in July.

The latest Grocer crisps, nuts & snacks category report in April revealed overall grocery sales of popcorn surged 11.2% to £129.1m as shoppers shifted from more traditional bagged snacks [IRI 52 w/e 25 February].