TreeHouse Foods to sell manufacturing facility and snack bars business for $63m

TreeHouse Foods has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Lakeville, MN manufacturing facility and snack bars business to John B. Sanfilippo & Son, for approximately $63 million in cash. “The sale of our Lakeville facility and snack bars business is another example of our strategy in action to be a focused private label leader in high-growth and high-margin categories,” said Steve Oakland, chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and president of TreeHouse Foods. “Importantly, we believe the business and its talented colleagues will be well positioned under John B. Sanfilippo & Son’s ownership. We remain focused on deploying our capital in a manner that supports our long-term growth targets and enhances value creation for our shareholders.” The Lakeville, MN manufacturing facility has been part of the TreeHouse Foods network since its acquisition of the Private Brands business in 2016. The facility produces a range of private label snack bar products including fruit and grain, chewy, crunchy and protein bars. The snack bars business was not expected to contribute positive adjusted EBITDA in fiscal year 2023. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close within 30 days. Following close, the existing private label snack bars business, customer relationships, and Lakeville-based employees will transition to John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc.

Jobs secured as bakery rescued from administration in prepack deal

Jacksons the Bakers Ltd, a family-run bakery based in Derbyshire, UK, has successfully emerged from administration through a prepack deal, ensuring the preservation of over 50 jobs within the company. The business had faced challenging trading conditions which led to administrators being appointed in September. Established in 1944 by Cyril Jackson, who sold war-rationed bread, the award-winning bakery has been part of the local community for over seven decades. Ryan Holdsworth and Danielle Shore from Leonard Curtis were appointed as the joint administrators, overseeing the transition and the subsequent prepack deal. In a joint statement, Ryan Holdsworth and Danielle Shore stated: “We are pleased to have completed this transaction which will enable the continuing operation of the company’s bakery business and, importantly, safeguards over 50 jobs.” The administrators were supported by Tom Paton, Curtis Blackham and Rachel Piper of Irwin Mitchell’s Restructuring and Insolvency Team.

Nestlé to acquire majority stake in Brazilian premium chocolate company

Nestlé is set to acquire a majority stake in Grupo CRM, a premium chocolate player in Brazil. Grupo CRM operates a successful direct-to-consumer model, with more than 1 000 chocolate boutiques under the Kopenhagen and Brasil Cacau brands and a strong, growing online presence. The transaction is expected to close in 2024, subject to customary regulatory approvals. The financial details of this transaction will not be disclosed. Renata Moraes Vichi will continue to lead the Grupo CRM operations as CEO and will remain a minority shareholder. She has been with the company for 25 years and has built up and significantly expanded Grupo CRM. Laurent Freixe, CEO Zone Latin America at Nestlé, said: “This acquisition further broadens and strengthens our confectionery presence in Brazil, enabling us to enter the high-end segment. Kopenhagen and Brasil Cacau offer premium chocolates that are highly appreciated by Brazilian consumers. We are pleased that Renata Vichi will continue to lead the company with her deep knowledge and passion for the chocolate business, people and brands. Together, we will explore opportunities to further enhance the company’s unique premium chocolate experience.” Kopenhagen’s history began in Brazil in 1928 and has continuously evolved through product innovation and the consumer experience. Classic brands, such as Língua de Gato, Nhá Benta, Lajotinha, Chumbinho and Cherry Brand, are iconic and beloved by Brazilians, whether as a small treat or as a gift. The Brasil Cacau brand was launched in 2009 and is available today in hundreds of branded stores throughout Brazil. Nestlé has a strong confectionery business in Brazil, and this transaction will allow the company to grow in the high-end gifting segment. Nestlé will capitalize on its global research and development capacity to help drive innovation and growth. The company will also support Grupo CRM’s sustainability ambitions.

LOMA SYSTEMS® introduces virtually unbreakable test sticks to global markets

Loma Systems, a global leader in inspection technologies for food quality and safety, has recently launched its latest innovation – LOMA® test sticks. Designed in response to customer requests, the sticks offer unparalleled reliability for performance testing of metal detectors and X-ray machines. Hard-wearing and practically unbreakable, the Loma test sticks are built to withstand even the most demanding testing environments. Intelligently designed with a shaped end allowing for easy insertion into various products, easily pushing into a product or placing into small containers like jars or bottles, their rugged construction ensures remarkable durability. The sticks are colour-coded for effortless identification and come in a range of contaminants to cater to diverse industry needs, including ferrous and non-ferrous metals, stainless steel and aluminium. Each test stick is marked with essential information, such as ball material, ball size, ball batch number, and Loma part number, thereby ensuring traceability and compliance. Furthermore, to guarantee transparency and uphold quality assurance, all test sticks are accompanied by a free certificate of conformity. And lastly, for added peace of mind, the test sticks bear the EU symbol, signifying that the materials used are safe for food contact. Loma’s Designed to Survive® test sticks can be purchased directly from Loma’s online stores in the UK ( and Germany ( The online stores also sell a complete range of test pieces to suit different applications. Additionally, Loma’s service teams worldwide can assist with any inquiries or orders for test pieces, inspection accessories or equipment. Visit Loma Systems ( for more information about its range of inspection solutions.

Premium gin Tipplemill launches into UK market

Tipplemill Distillery, the premium gin producer from the British countryside, is launching its first London Dry Gin into the UK market. Based in South Lincolnshire, Tipplemill is made with wheat grown in harmony with nature on the family farm, ground between millstones of the tallest working windmill in the UK, making it the UK’s – and possibly the world’s – only windmill-made gin. Tipplemill is founded by Lily Craven, part of the fifth generation of farmers at Mill Farm. The farm was founded in the 1900s by Frank Craven who, having worked as a miller, bought the land around his windmill so his sons could grow the wheat he needed for milling. Five generations later, Lily and her brother James are custodians of the same land which now grows the grain for Tipplemill gin. Tipplemill is a delicious and refreshing 44% ABV London Dry gin, distilled in a traditional copper pot still. The botanical recipe is inspired by the elderflowers that grace the farm’s hedgerows, creating an elegant bloom, as well as sweet fennel seeds which flourish in the botanical garden. Further botanicals are sourced from growers around the world – the finest juniper from the wild hills of Tuscany, grapefruit and orange peel from the Mediterranean, angelica from farmers in Belgium and coriander from the Black Sea coast. The resulting spirit is presented in a bespoke and elegant bottle telling the story of the brand. At its centre is the windmill representing the brand’s milling heritage, nestled between two connecting heads of wheat which together form the shape of the Tipplemill gin glass. The bottle’s grooved cork stopper is shaped like a millstone, crowning the bottle with this further reminder of the brand’s heritage. Lily Craven, founder of Tipplemill Distillery, says: “I am extremely proud to be launching Tipplemill to the market, the result of a two-year journey. I set out to create the best possible gin using wheat grown in harmony with nature on our family farm, taking inspiration from our milling heritage and all that the British countryside has to offer. Dedicated to quality, sustainability and traceability, this meant starting at the very beginning with the core ingredient, the base alcohol spirit. “Working with nature is central to our process, from using wheat my brother James harvests on our farm, to using the ultimate renewable energy source, the wind, to grind the grain between millstones to produce the wholemeal flour needed to make the base alcohol spirit. Tipplemill takes 12 months to produce and we are totally at the beck and call of nature – we have to wait for the crops to grow and the wind to blow.” Tipplemill is available with immediate effect from, with an RRP of £44 per 70cl bottle, with free postage. Tasting notes: Aromatic on the nose, the gin carries juniper and gentle grapefruit notes with a hint of sweet fennel. On the palate there is bittersweet orange with a lift of elderflower which flows into juniper and angelica. The finish is long and features herbaceous bay, hints of coriander seed and enduring grapefruit.

Eddie edible ink printer receives Kosher certification

The direct-to-food printer Eddie, manufactured by Primera Technology and distributed in the EMEA region by DTM Print, has received Kosher Pareve certification. This certification is a testament to Primera’s commitment to providing high-quality products that meet the needs of observant Jewish customers while ensuring food safety, purity, and quality for all customers. While Eddie’s edible ink has always been kosher, it is important to note that simply supplying kosher ink is insufficient for claiming kosher certification. By undergoing this certification, Primera distinguishes itself from other edible ink printer manufacturers by supplying not only kosher inks but also ensuring that its entire product and production processes meet the strict standards set forth by a certified kosher organization. Primera obtained its kosher certification by Kosher Supervisors of Wisconsin (USA), a renowned organization known for its expertise in certifying products as kosher. “Earning kosher certification for Eddie Edible Ink Printer is a great achievement. It reflects on how important the needs of our diverse customers are for the manufacturer and demonstrates its dedication to inclusivity,” states Andreas Hoffmann, Managing Director of DTM Print. “Eddie is now a product that is not only kosher but also meets the highest standards of food safety, purity and quality.” Eddie was designed from the beginning to be used in food processing environments to fulfil all hygienic standards. Stainless steel housing, easy to clean components and certified ink with EU and FDA approvals make Eddie the safest direct-to-food printer in its class. The Kosher Pareve certification adds to the list of industry-leading certifications as Eddie’s printhead and filling equipment is cGMP certified, the ink-filling cleanroom is FDA-approved and the printer itself has been certified by NSF. The edible ink is also Halal certified and suitable for vegans. Eddie Edible Ink Printer, its supplies and accessories are available directly from DTM Print or through authorised DTM Print partners in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Radnor Hills acquires Highland Spring Group’s Welsh production site


Soft drinks maker Radnor Hills has acquired Highland Spring Group’s Welsh production site.

The deal, completed last week, will protect jobs at the site located in Blaen Twyni, Swansea, and support the ongoing strategic growth of the Radnor Hills business.

The acquisition also includes a 40-acre water source in the heart of Bannau Brycheiniog National Park.

The site has serviced major supermarkets in the UK with still, sparkling and flavoured natural source water drinks for several years.

Established in 1990, independent and family-owned, Radnor Hills has a turnover of £64.4 million and produces over 400 million drinks every year.

Its brands include a full range of Radnor Hills spring water, Heartsease Farm, Radnor Splash, and their market-leading range of school-approved children’s drinks, Radnor Fizz.

A key business priority for Radnor Hills has been to find an expansion opportunity in Wales that mirrors its other manufacturing base in Knighton, Powys.

William Watkins, founder and Managing Director of Radnor Hills, said: “This deal represents an important milestone in the growth of our company and will allow us to keep pace with our growing consumer demand.

“The Blaen Twyni site presented us with the ideal opportunity to expand our capacity with a plentiful source of pure natural Welsh spring water, which complements the supply of pure water we already have at our source in Heartsease.

“We’re excited to welcome the highly skilled and dedicated workforce from Blaen Twyni to our Radnor family. The opportunity for us to continue to safeguard jobs in Wales and to offer further employment opportunities to the local area in the fullness of time is extremely important to us.

“We are grateful to Highland Spring Group for this opportunity and for the professional and helpful approach of their team, which has made the transition as smooth as possible.”

Simon Oldham, Managing Director of Highland Spring Group, said: “We’re pleased to have agreed this deal with Radnor, and I would like to personally thank every single member of the site’s operations team for their professionalism and support during this transition. We wish them and the team at Radnor the very best for the future.

“Our business is focused on driving the growth of Highland Spring as the UK’s No.1 plain bottled water brand, which forms part of our long-term strategy to continue to invest in and develop high-quality, sustainable products which provide healthy hydration in an environmentally sustainable way.”

Gin from smugglers route and Athurian legend to debut at Speciality & Fine Food Fair


Gin fans looking for a taste of romantic tales with a hint of Athurian legends and side notes of the Neolithic era are in for a treat at this year’s Speciality & Fine Food Fair, as Golden Road Gin makes its debut.

The copper pot gin, created from 100% natural botanical ingredients, is distilled close to the heart of Pembrokeshire’s Preseli Hills and whilst it has only been available for the last six months, it has already picked up its own little bit of history, securing a Great Taste Award last month (August).

The gin is the result of 18 months of hard work behind the scenes for husband and wife team Phil and Jennifer Wheeler, who already run a successful luxury self catering business in the area which is just off the historic Golden Road route which dates back some 5,000 years.

Since then, the seven-mile moorland route, which has views that reach as far across the waters as Ireland, has been home to bronze age burial mounds, smugglers and if legends are to be believed, the final resting place of the legendary King Arthur.

“Pardon the pun but we are ‘steeped’ in history here,” says Phil Wheeler, who together with former chef Jennifer embarked on their artisan gin journey back in 2022.

“We also love a sense of adventure and an unashamed pursuit of fun and freedom, so naming the gin after this incredible trail seemed pretty apt. We’ve been hugely supported by the amazing team at In The Welsh Wind distillery who have worked with us from the moment we said ‘wouldn’t it be fun if we created our own gin?’ So our massive thanks go to them and indeed to our neighbour Sally who introduced us.

“That was 18 months ago now and here we are embarking on our journey from rural south Wales to one of the biggest food and drink shows – it is pretty surreal actually.”

As for the gin itself, the unmistakable taste of juniper provides that quintessential gin essence, with citrus notes of orange and lemon following, offering a zesty height that invigorates the senses.

The unexpected twist of pink peppercorns introduces a mildly spicy and aromatic nuance which is mellowed by the gentle presence of bay. Finally, an infusion of Japanese cherry tea adds a delicate flavour that adds a layer of complexity with subtle floral notes.

As these flavours begin to meld, the finish is beautifully punctuated by a gentle sweetness, reminiscent of a serene twilight. This lingering sweetness offers a counterbalance to the spice, wrapping the experience in a velvety embrace. The journey of savoring Golden Road Gin remains etched in memory long after the glass is empty.

Former chef and co-founder Jennifer Wheeler concludes: “We knew what we were aiming at insofar as quality and taste but it took quite some time to design the perfect profile.

“The goal was to create a craft gin that evokes a feeling of relaxed adventure and refreshing smoothness and I think we’ve done just that.

“It has been so exciting to share our gin with people and hear that others really love it too but to go before the panel at the Great Taste Awards was a little nerve wracking.

“Thankfully, they loved it, which we hope many more people will too, whether they are staying with us as guests, just fancy a cheeky G and T which they can buy from our online shop or if they want to pop by our stand 2752 at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair this month.”

Ginsters expands flavour repertoire with exciting new innovations across pasties, slices and bakes

Savoury Pastry Category leaders, Ginsters, are set to bring excitement and new shoppers to the category, with the launch of three new recipes this September – all featuring delicious British ingredients. The new product innovations, created by Ginsters’ expert chefs are all inspired by family favourite meals and pub classics, perfect for delicious, cozy lunches as the weather turns cooler. The new additions will see Ginsters grow their Pasty, Slice and Bakes ranges simultaneously, and deliver the exciting new flavours that, according to new research, over half of consumers are looking for. This exciting and flavoursome trio includes: BBQ Hunters Chicken Slice (170g) RRP £1.95. 100% British chicken & streaky bacon cooked in a smoky BBQ sauce with melted Westcountry cheese, wrapped in light puff pastry. In store from 25th September. Smoky Beef Chilli Pasty (180g) RRP £1.95. 100% British beef, potato, black turtle beans, kidney beans, onion, tomato, red peppers, garlic, oak smoked sea salt with a hint of chilli, wrapped in a light puff pastry. In store from 25th September. Mexican Bean Bake (117g) RRP £1.50 (vegetarian). Black and red kidney beans, in a richly spiced tomato sauce; with peppers, smoked cheese, and a hint of coriander, wrapped in light puff pastry. In store from 11th September. Consumer insight was behind the development of the three new flavours, with each one carefully crafted with top quality British ingredients. Research demonstrates a positive increase of between 17% and 22% in Mexican and Modern British flavour profiles, and this has been expertly interpreted into these delicious new recipes. The BBQ Hunters Chicken Slice draws inspiration from a pub classic, with the tasty twist of being wrapped in layers of golden puff pastry. Ginsters classic slice flavours, Peppered Steak and Chicken and Mushroom are loved by shoppers and this new take on a classic is set to liven up shoppers’ lunchtime. Ginsters’ chefs have excelled themselves with the Smoky Beef Chilli Pasty. The new arrival sees everyone’s favourite chilli dish wrapped in delicious pastry, revolutionising the pasty market, and bringing new family shoppers into the market. The third innovation brings a fresh new vegetarian option to the Ginsters portfolio. Like the rest of the Ginsters bakes range, the new Mexican Bean Bake has taken global flavour inspiration and will drive momentum and penetration for the bakes range, which is successfully offering shoppers a great value lunch add-on or mid-afternoon snack option.  The success of Ginsters bakes range has driven 5.2% penetration and £953k of incremental spend to the pasties and slice segment. New products launched by Ginsters, over the last two years, have delivered over £7.6m YTD category growth and this is set to continue with these new launches. The new flavours will also attract new family shoppers into the category, who are seeking out adventurous flavour innovations. Like the whole Ginsters range, all three new products include no artificial colours, preservatives, or flavours, allowing the top-notch ingredients and quality to shine through.  This dedication to giving consumers convenient, tasty, food with 100% British meat and locally sourced vegetables is being further highlighted by Ginsters new brand identity and packaging, featuring Hay Farm, in Cornwall. Sam Mitchell, Ginsters Managing Director, said: “We are really proud of these three new products. It was really important that we deliver a brand-new flavour profile for each of our ranges, rather than duplicating something predictable across all three. We want to create excitement for the Ginsters brand as well as for the category as a whole. Our new Pasty, Bake and Slice innovations give consumers a wider choice for a satisfying, delicious lunch, packed full of quality ingredients, at affordable prices, and are set to do just that.”

Kate Hardcastle MBE joins the line-up for Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2023

Award-winning UK broadcaster, consumer & business expert Kate Hardcastle MBE has been announced as a keynote speaker for Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2023 to share her insights into how consumers can ‘buy better’ and household brand names ‘deliver better’. Taking place on 11-12 September at Olympia London, Speciality & Fine Food Fair is the UK’s leading showcase of artisanal food & drink, dedicated to connecting food & drink buyers with a wide range of quality products to revitalise their offering. Hardcastle is a prominent voice in both the media and consumer goods industries and is committed to helping businesses and consumers make change. As ’The Customer Whisperer’, she appears on popular television and online programmes in UK, USA, UAE & Asia. Her work is respected globally, projects have included the successful turnaround of ailing retail brands and shopping centres, the creation of powerful consumer brands and consulting to oversee business redevelopment, restructure and takeovers. Hardcastle will be the headline speaker for the Fair’s newly launched Power Breakfast event, in partnership with Flanders Trade & Investment, an opportunity for senior leaders in food & drink retail, wholesale and hospitality to meet, connect and learn before the Fair opens on the morning of 12 September. The event is a chance for food & drink buyers to peek behind the scenes, explore the current state of the high street and unravel the emotional factors driving purchasing decisions, allowing businesses to forge meaningful connections and foster brand loyalty. Attendees will gain valuable insights into optimising their operations, managing costs, and capitalising on opportunities amidst the rapidly evolving economic landscape. Hardcastle will be sharing her predictions and observations and explores what international developments mean for the UK food & drink sector. She comments: “Navigating consumer trends and insights has never been more challenging – and yet is the key for opportunity. I look forward to talking through my thoughts at this year’s event in perfect timing to kick off the peak season.” Speciality & Fine Food Fair Event Manager Nicola Woods adds: “We’re delighted that Kate has agreed to speak at the Fair’s inaugural Power Breakfast event. This is a fantastic opportunity for leaders in the industry to hear from someone with a wealth of experience and insight into retail trends and future innovations and a fantastic way to kickstart day two!” To find out more about the Power Breakfast at Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2023, and to express interest in attending this exclusive event, visit