The Irish owner of the Rustlers convenience burger brand has bought rival brand Feasters, The Grocer can reveal.
Kepak Group bought the brand last month from Eatwell, a subsidiary of fellow Irish meat giant ABP, for an undisclosed fee.
The deal “would strengthen the company’s position as a major force in the UK’s food-to-go market”, said Kepak Convenience Foods’ CEO Peter Jackson.
ABP said the brand was not core to the future growth of its chilled beef and frozen convenience foods business.
Production of Feasters has moved from the Eatwell site at Knowsley, Merseyside to Kepak’s HQ in Kirkham, Lancashire. Kepak said supplies to customers were continuing as normal. Most staff had also switched to Kepak, it added.
The brands have had a fierce rivalry over the past few years. In late 2009, Tesco decided to delist Rustlers in favour of Feasters. At the time, it also delisted Kepak’s other main hot snack brand, Ugo’s Deli Café.
It took Kepak two years to get its products back on Tesco shelves. In September, Kepak said Tesco had relisted its products following significant investment in NPD and distribution.
It claimed Tesco had been impressed by its marketing for Rustlers, which included a front page ad in The Grocer (23 July 2011). The ad featured a blonde woman in underwear and heels peering into a fridge full of Rustler burgers, with the strapline ‘You can never have too much of a good thing’.