Dorset Cereals plans to at least double retail sales to £60m in the next five years as new owner Wellness Foods invests in a raft of NPD and in building the brand's international sales.
The brand, which saw its turnover grow from £13m in 2006 to £20m in 2007 and has retail sales of about £30m, will benefit from multimillion-pound investment in NPD, facilities and people, following the acquisition from Langholm Capital for up to £50m last week.
"We intend to make significant investments in this brand over the next few years," Wellness chief executive Philip O'Connor told The Grocer. "Our overall objective is to target the high-growth wellbeing food market. Dorset Cereals is extremely complementary to our existing range."
Wellness, which was set up in July 2005 with the backing of Swiss private equity parent firm Lydian Capital, bought I Am Fresh juice brand owner Orchard House in 2005. It then acquired Rowse Honey in 2006, Stream Foods, which owns the Fruit Bowl brand, in February 2007, followed by organic juice brand Grove Fresh in March 2007.
The group has more than doubled its turnover from £95m in 2006 to £220m and has set out plans to become a £500m brand owner by 2011. This would be achieved through organic growth and acquisitions, said O'Connor.
"All the businesses in the Wellness Foods family are in high-growth categories. We are keen to acquire businesses that fit our natural, wholesome and healthy vision."
Although its primary focus is the UK, the company would broaden its acquisitions to European brands after 2010, said O'Connor. It would also build export sales in all categories, with a particular focus on Dorset Cereals, which already sells into 60 countries. In 2006 nearly 30% of the cereal brand's turnover, or £3.9m, was from foreign markets.
Muesli had plenty of potential in the UK, O'Connor said, promising a "stream of innovation" coming for Dorset, including an imminent launch.
Langholm Capital, which is in talks to buy crisp supplier Tyrrells, paid £16.1m for Dorset Cereals in 2005.