Strong Roots

Source: Strong Roots

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Challenger brand Strong Roots has surged to the top of Alantra’s Fast 50 list, amid a resurgence of the frozen food category.

The supplier of frozen plant-based burgers and sides has rocketed to £9m in annual sales, four years after launch.

Its rapid growth saw it pip sports nutrition brand Grenade and last year’s top dog, Pots & Co, to head the list of the 50 fastest-growing privately owned fmcg firms.

Strong Roots, founded by Sam Dennigan in 2015, delivered 109.1% compound annual growth in the past three years, buoyed by rapid acceleration in the UK after the brand came over from its native Ireland.

Consumer demand for plant-based options and a resurgent frozen food category helped the supplier gain listings in each of the big four. Dennigan has now set his sights on growth in the US and believes the brand can jump to £100m revenues in the UK in the next five years.

“There is a lot of headroom for growth in the categories we are playing in, as well as the new categories that we are designing products for,” he told The Grocer.

The company was in discussions with potential partners regarding an equity raise to assist with its growth aspirations, Dennigan added.

Alantra director Charles Lanceley said: “Strong Roots is a phenomenal business. For a while, consumers in the frozen have been neglected for what they consume, compared to other parts of the store. Sam saw that and went about creating the range to fulfil those needs.”

Read the full story on The Grocer’s finance page later today.

Morning update

The Supermarket Income Reit has secured more than £45m in an oversubscribed equity raise, as it looks to expand its supermarket portfolio.

The property group, which was the UK’s largest purchaser of supermarkets in 2018, had initially set out to raise £25m but significantly overfunded to expand its portfolio even further.

Supermarket REIT already owns six supermarkets having which are let to Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons on long term leases, having acquired £104m of supermarket assets in 2018.

It said the funding would be used to acquire two supermarket assets from either the originally identified £260 million pipeline of five assets or from a growing number of further opportunities which the investment adviser has identified, with the balance to be funded through debt financing.

Earlier this week it announced former Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King was appointed as a senior advisor to retail property group.

King, who led the grocer for 10 years until 2014, will take on the role as an advisor for Atrato Capital, the investment management arm of the AIM-listed group.

Prior to his tenure leading Sainsbury’s growth, he was part of the leadership team at Marks & Spencer and previously held senior roles at Asda.

The group said King would “bring a wealth of experience of the grocery sector and a deep understanding of grocery property strategy”.

This morning, the FTSE 100 has dipped 0.2% to 7,339pts, as the sterling regained some value on the foreign exchange markets.

In grocery, the big risers this morning include McBride (MCB), up 5% to 104.8p, Ocado group (OCDO), up 2% to 1,269p, and Fuller, Smith and Turner (FSTA), up 1.3% to 1,120p.

The early fallers include Science in Sport (SIS), down 1.9% to 51p, Reckitt Benckiser (RB.), down 1.1% to 6,467p, and Unilever (ULVR), also down 1.1% to 4,352p.

Yesterday in the city

The FTSE 100 was riding high yesterday, surging 0.9% to 7,355pts, as the pound continue to falter amid the UK’s Brexit woes.

Consumer heavyweight Reckitt Benckiser (RB.), was one of the day’s big risers, jumping 3.9% to 6,538p.

Other big risers in yesterday’s trading included Associated British Food (ABF), up 2.9% to 2,376p, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), up 2.7% to 1,566p, and Stock Spirit Group (STCK), up 2.7% to 229.5p.

Agriculture giant Carr’s Group (CARR), continued its steady decline, dropping another 4.7% to 143p. The drop highlights a major slump since it rose to 175p one month ago.

Other major fallers included Premier Foods (PFD), down 4% to 35.8p, Nichols (NICL), down 3.1% to 1,550p, and Majestic (WINE), down 2.5% to 270p.