Source: Grenade

Grenade protein bar range Carb Killa has seen huge popularity

Protein bar maker Grenade has posted further stellar growth last year as its private equity owners prepare to sell the brand.

The “continued success” of its range of protein bars, shakes, spreads and biscuits boosted sales by 30% to £37.6m in 2018.

Grenade claimed to be the “number one” protein bar brand in the UK, with its Carb Killa range currently owning a 37% share of the market and rising 106% to £25.2m sales [IRI 52 w/e 11 August 2019].

Despite “significant investment” in working capital and headcount, pre-tax profits leapt 13% to £6.1m and margins rose to 39% from 37%.

Looking ahead, Grenade was planning further NPD and expansion to deliver a “positive 2019 and beyond”, it said.

“With increased investment on the team, the brand and our marketing, specifically international, we are continuing our journey to become a truly global brand targeting Europe, America and the UAE as current expansion areas as well as several other international geographies,” added Mike Simons, head of category at Grenade.

The company is now set for a multimillion-pound bidding war after private equity owner Lion Capital appointed advisors at Harris Williams to explore a sale of the brand, just two years after acquiring a majority stake.

Grenade has already generated plenty of City interest, having first been acquired by Grovepoint Capital in 2014 for £35m, and then by Lion in 2017 for more than double that valuation at £72m.

How Grenade exploded into confectionery mainstream

Amid increased supermarket listings and booming UK and international sales, Grenade was able to turn from a sports nutrition brand to a mainstream confectionery giant, with City observers expecting it to command a price of around five times revenues - potentially valuing it around £200m.