Tim Hansell, CEO of Skinner’s (l) and Daniel Masters, MD of Naturediet

Dry dogfood specialist Skinner’s has bought a majority stake in branded natural wet dogfood producer Naturediet.

Skinner’s has invested alongside Daniel Masters, MD of Naturediet, to acquire a majority shareholding and facilitate an exit for the founding Orrow family.

The deal will bring together the two companies’ respective dry and wet food specialisms to create an “all-inclusive offering” enabling them to “fast-track their growth trajectory”.

Naturediet operates its own state-of-the-art wet “steam cooked” facility in Ickburgh, Norfolk, and has annual revenues of £4.5m.

Suffolk-based Skinner’s, which primarily producers its Field & Trial dry range, has revenues of £19m.

“By combining Skinner’s and Naturediet, we are bringing together expert manufacturing capabilities across both dry and wet dog food, which should unlock significant future growth and new product development opportunities for both brands,” said Skinner’s chairman Roger Skinner. “This is an exciting time in Skinner’s history.”

The new partnership will also look to strengthen the group’s sustainability credentials, with a planned packaging refresh and new product lines due to roll out next year.

Skinner’s CEO Tim Hansell added: “Naturediet operates one of the most technologically advanced wet manufacturing facilities in Europe and was one of the first petfood brands in Europe to invest in the highly innovative and sustainable Tetra Pak carton packaging format.

“In the years ahead, we believe the consumer will increasingly look to move away from plastic pouches, plastic trays and tin cans to more environmentally sustainable packaging solutions such as Tetra Pak cartons.”

Naturediet MD Daniel Masters added: “Skinner’s is a family-owned business, with a deep heritage in our industry and a shared vision and values. Both businesses are based in East Anglia, with a compelling “made by us” story built around heritage, quality ingredients and low food miles. Skinner’s is the perfect partner for us and we are excited about the new product development plans which are already in progress.”