Premier Foods has created a stronghold in the chilled vegetarian sector by snapping up meat-free and organic food producer Cauldron Foods for £27m.
The Cauldron brand, which includes sausages, burgers, grills, bakes and tofu, is the arch rival of vegetarian brand Quorn, which Premier Foods acquired in June this year when it bought Marlow Foods for £172m.
Premier Foods said that the Cauldron brand would sit alongside and be highly complementary to the Quorn range, and would benefit from greater investment. Robert Schofield, chief executive of Premier Foods, added: “Cauldron’s strong position in tofu and vegetable-based products will further enhance our position in the high-growth healthy eating market.
“It fulfils all our acquisition criteria, it enhances our branded mix, it is UK focused and meets all our financial hurdles.”
The acquisition comes as Quorn has reached the £100m sales mark in the UK for the first time. Premier Foods said that the brand had benefited from a wide range of new products and heavyweight marketing.