The UK snacking arm of Belgian group Lotus Bakeries saw sales jump 25% in the first half of 2023 as its brand continued to grow share in the UK and push into new markets

Lotus Natural Foods, which includes the Bear, Nakd and Kiddylicious brands, grew sales by more than 25% at constant exchange rates, driven by international growth.

Brand sales outside the UK were up by more than 30% in the first six months of the year and now make up almost a third of the division’s overall turnover.

Lotus stressed its volume trend in the UK remained “positive” desite the current economic environment in its home market.

Although the contribution of NPD to sales was “limited”, newly launched products included Nakd Protein Bars and Big Bars, and Bear Fruit Splits.

“These innovations are a crucial element in the strategy and essential for a market leading position in the dynamic categories that Lotus Natural Foods brands are playing in,” the company said.

“They will also support future growth by broadening the product offering into adjacent categories or extended age ranges.”

Meanwhile, sales of its core Lotus Biscoff brand grew 20% at constant exchange rates, with growth broad-based across the vast majority of countries and brand categories.

Overall group sales topped €500m for the first time after a year-on-year increase of 20.2%.

Year-on-year volume increases of 8% “demonstrates the continued robust sales evolution across the entire product range and across geographies”.

Recurring operating earnings (REBIT) was up 14.3% to €78.4m amid “responsible price increases, proactive hedging policies, organic volume growth and efficiency measures to contain underlying cost inflation”.