Kettle Foods snaps up West Midlands popcorn producer

Kettle Foods managing director Ashley Hicks with Cornpoppers' previous owner, Balvinder Nijjar. Pict

Kettle Foods managing director Ashley Hicks with Cornpoppers' previous owner, Balvinder Nijjar. Picture: Kettle Foods. - Credit: Archant

Snack-maker Kettle Foods has strengthened its hand in the growing popcorn sector with the purchase of another UK producer.

Cornpoppers, a family business founded in 1979, produces branded and private-label popcorn products for retail and wholesale and is based in Wednesbury in the West Midlands.

The acquisition of Cornpoppers for an undisclosed sum follows Kettle's purchase of Metcalfe's skinny popcorn last year, as the company sought to establish a foothold in the alternative snacks market.

The UK popcorn market remains one of the fastest-growing categories within the UK snack food industry, growing by 10% over the last year as consumers develop a taste for lighter snacking options.

Ashley Hicks, Kettle Foods managing director, said: 'The acquisition of Cornpoppers Ltd is the next exciting step in our transition to build Kettle Foods into a dynamic European snack foods business. We're confident that this will create more opportunities with our trade partners in jointly evolving the full potential of the popcorn category and look forward to welcoming the team at Cornpoppers to Kettle Foods and working with them on making great-tasting popcorn.'

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Balvinder Nijjar, previous owner of Cornpoppers, added: 'With the support and expertise of the Kettle Foods' team, I am delighted about the opportunity for Cornpoppers to expand and bring our snacking talents together.'

Kettle Foods has a factory in Bowthorpe near Norwich and is a member of the EDP/EADT Top100 list of Norfolk and Suffolk's biggest companies by turnover.

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