McCain Foods acquires Scelta Products


McCain Foods has acquired Scelta Products, adding the Netherlands-based producer of frozen foods to its growing family of prepared vegetable appetizer product offerings.

The deal represents a significant investment that will fuel McCain’s growth and expansion in the frozen vegetable appetizer space.

“With common customers and shared values as family-owned companies, there is a natural complement between McCain Foods and Scelta Products,” says Max Koeune, CEO of McCain Foods. “We feel honoured and privileged to build on the legacy of Scelta Products, bringing their delicious product to our customers as we expand on the fantastic business that Scelta’s founders have created.”

Scelta Products has been driving innovation in the frozen vegetable industry for more than 22 years and has been a business partner of McCain’s for the past 13 years.

Scelta Products’ plant assets will be integrated into McCain’s product network, creating increased production capacity to accelerate global prepared appetizer growth throughout European and international markets.

Scelta Mushrooms, cofounder of Scelta Products and the international route to market for more than 20 years, will solely focus on its mushroom business going forward.

“After more than a decade of building a successful business partnership, we are thrilled to officially become part of the McCain Foods family,” say Jos Koster and Wilco Boone, co-founders of Scelta Products.

“Our companies have grown together over the years, and I’m excited to see that continue. In joining forces with McCain, a global leader in prepared appetizer products with similar business values to ours, I am confident that the legacy of Scelta Products’ will continue to be built upon.”

Waterford Distillery begins bottling the first peated Irish whisky made from Irish barley

Waterford Distillery has bottled the first modern Irish Peated whiskies in generations – Peated: Fenniscourt and Peated: Ballybanon, from barley grown on two distinct Single Farm Origins. The new single malt whiskies use both Irish peat and Irish-grown barley – the first distillery in generations to do so – as part of Waterford’s quest to unearth whisky’s most natural flavours and commitment to Irish-only ingredients. Both bottlings are the latest addition to Waterford’s Arcadian Farm Origins, which represent real rarity in whisky due to the scarcity of the raw materials. This range – which include Ireland’s only Organic whisky and the world’s first Biodynamic whisky – reimagines the old ways of production in the pursuit of flavour intensity over yield imperatives. The arrival of the new Irish peat bottlings, spearheaded by CEO Mark Reynier, has been in development since 2017, though kept a secret until this year. The approach included selecting two Single Farm Origin barleys – from distinctive terroirs – to see if the flavour profiles could stand up to the smokiness of peat. In true Waterford Whisky style, the approach needed a radical approach to ensure its Irish provenance. Irish peat has been redundant in whisky production since the turn of the 20th century, which meant all knowledge of how to use Irish peat had passed out of memory. Therefore the project involved ambitious collaborators, as well as trial and error in sourcing the appropriate peat sources with the moisture levels appropriate for whisky production. Waterford Distillery sourced small amounts of peat cut from County Kildare, and worked alongside their established malting partner, Minch Malt. Because there was no infrastructure in Ireland capable of peating barley, Waterford Distillery needed to ship small amounts of Irish peat and Irish barley to Scotland, iconic home to peated malt whisky, for the kilning process to take place – before being shipped back to Waterford for distillation. Providing drinkers with full product transparency and traceability is Waterford Whisky’s trademark. Through TEIREOIR CODE technology, available on each and every bottle, drinkers can follow how the barley was harvested, stored, malted, and distilled – guaranteeing the integrity of each Single Farm Origin. Neil Conway, head brewer of Waterford Distillery, explains: “Peat was a core part of Ireland’s heritage, whether that be commercially, for heating homes in rural countryside, or for the production of whisky. It was the ancient fuel source. “At Waterford Distillery, since we place barley – the source of whisky’s natural flavour – at the centre of our universe, we are gathering the widest array of pure and natural flavour components. It felt only natural to nod to our cultural heritage, preserve old ways, and explore the peating process with modern varieties. “Malt whisky is already one of the most complex spirits in the world because it is made from barley – the best in the world coming from Ireland. So combining this with ancient peated methods that are no longer widely available in Ireland, added intriguing new layers of flavour complexity. Cultivating Irish peat and learning how the impact of moisture levels can determine the whiskies smokiness is just another step to quest to unearth whisky’s most natural flavours. “Of course it made little financial sense, but we did it for taste – and taste alone. Once we’d tried it, it was just too good to ignore and we thought that people really need to try this.” Tasting notes by Ned Gahan, head distiller at Waterford While the Peated: Ballybanon has a stronger, smokier flavour and with an intense finish, the Peated Fenniscourt is a more subtle smokiness, with a softer finish. PEATED: BALLYBANNON: Matured in a combination of 39% first-fill US oak; 21% virgin US oak; 21% Premium French oak; and 19% Vin Doux Naturel casks. Colour: light gold with everlasting oils. Nose: soft peat, almonds, lavender honey, a seaside escape, driftwood fire smoke, green apples. Taste: peat kick, very chewable, BBQ fish by the sea, buttery, samphire, warm apple and almond tart with honeycomb ice cream, endless finish. PEATED: FENNISCOURT Matured in a combination of 37% first-fill US oak; 19% virgin US oak; 20% Premium French oak; and 24% Vin Doux Naturel. Colour: rich buttermilk with fabulous oils. Nose: turf! Saltiness, pear skin, woodland moss, dried thyme, malted biscuits, marzipan, baked banana. Taste: dry rope, barbecue, bog myrtle, white pepper, meaty; soft, earthy warmth, a dry finish in gentle waves.

Kite Packaging launches cutting-edge Kite Knife

Engineered with usability in mind, the Kite Knife is a multipurpose tool perfect for various warehouse uses, eradicating the need for multiple knives and cutters in the workplace. Boasting versatility, it offers businesses an environmentally and economically smart sustainable solution for reducing waste and cutting costs. Comprising a stainless-steel blade, the Kite Knife is highly durable and corrosion resistant in quality, possessing the ability to outlast similar products. The ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) handle adds to its overall strength, making the knife impact- and chemical-resistant. Not to mention, both materials can be recycled, further enhancing your green credentials. With such a hard-wearing design, this product can withstand tough work environments, cutting through cardboard like butter and lasting longer than most models, whilst ensuring safety comes first. Whether you use it to cut hand holes into boxes or multi-score boxes, the serrated blade and rounded tip act as a safety feature. This provides protection from injuries commonly associated with box cutters and knives, whilst simultaneously delivering the cleanest of cuts with speed and efficiency. Competitively priced, the Kite Knife is a new generation of product designed for optimum user experience, safety, efficiency and sustainability. For more information, please visit

Diageo sells Archers brand to De Kuyper Royal Distillers

Diageo has sold Archers, the Peach Schnapps brand, to De Kuyper Royal Distillers, adding to its international liqueur portfolio. John Kennedy, Diageo’s president, Europe, said: “We are committed to creating value for all our stakeholders through delivering consistent and efficient growth, including actively shaping our portfolio towards opportunities that will maximise growth over the long-term. “We take a disciplined approach to capital allocation and this announcement continues our track-record of active portfolio management.” Archers Peach Schnapps is a clear fruit schnapps that is sold internationally. After its launch in 1986 this British bar legend became one of the fastest growing drink brands in the UK market and founded a whole new category. Today, Archers is a very well-known brand in the UK for both consumption at home and in bars and restaurants. The famous peach liqueur is essential in many classic cocktails such as WooWoo and Sex on the Beach. “We want to own the peach category. With Peachtree we do so in a number of important cocktail markets, but in UK the peach category is historically owned by Archers. We had the choice to keep competing with Archers or to try to acquire Archers and add the brand to our premium liqueur portfolio. We decided to do the latter,” explains Mark de Witte, CEO of De Kuyper. “Archers is a high-quality liqueur with a great heritage, deeply rooted in UK consumers’ minds when it comes to peach liqueurs. This strong brand performs very stably and has remained relevant for consumers in the UK ever since its launch. For De Kuyper the brand will have high priority and we will contribute our over 325 years of expertise in liqueurs and our specific knowledge in the peach category to bring out the best in Archers.” As part of this transaction, Diageo has agreed a 24-month manufacturing supply agreement with De Kuyper Royal Distillers. “We see an interesting growth platform for Archers in the category of cocktails and will utilize the insights, experience and best practices we gained with Peachtree. Our focus stays on the current audience where the brand is popular and which is fitting very well with the cocktail-drinker target group,” explains Godelief van Erve, global marketing director at De Kuyper.

HEINEKEN UK assumes full ownership of Beavertown Brewery

HEINEKEN UK has purchased the remaining shares in Beavertown Brewery, assuming full ownership of London’s largest brewery. As part of the agreement between the two companies, founder Logan Plant will step down as CEO and take on a new advisory role, with Jochen Van Esch, taking on the new Managing Director role. HEINEKEN UK purchased a minority share in Beavertown in 2018, and since then has invested significantly, developing a new state-of-the-art brewery in North London. Beavertown will continue to be operated separately to HEINEKEN UK with its own functional teams including sales, marketing, brewing and wider existing teams. Logan Plant says: “Beavertown began in my kitchen, ten years ago. From brewing in a rice pan to one of the most successful British brewers in recent years, employing over 160 people and brewing 360,000 hectolitres of beer. Its success is something I could never have predicted back then, and I am extremely proud that we have agreed the deal with HEINEKEN UK which is the natural next step for Beavertown, its brands, and most importantly, its people. “The culture of Beavertown is incredibly important – our unique creativity in our design and marketing, our drive to brew the very best tasting beers, and the passion for excellence at the moment people order a pint – and this is something that will continue. With HEINEKEN UK, we have a partner who provides support, advice and investment, and gives us the space to flourish. “Without them, my dream of being a world-renowned brewery that began with that rice pan a decade ago, would have been impossible. Jochen has worked closely with us all and I have absolute confidence that under his stewardship, the future of Beavertown is burning bright.” Boudewijn Haarsma, Managing Director at HEINEKEN UK, says: “This is a hugely positive step, and builds on a partnership that will see Beavertown continue to expand and flourish, while remaining committed to its independent creativity. HEINEKEN will fully support Beavertown’s brand position, inimitable creativity and huge growth potential, and will do so in a way that preserves its unique approach to beer.” Jochen Van Esch has worked for HEINEKEN for over 20 years, and has been at HEINEKEN UK since 2014, when he began as brewery operations director. Together with Logan, he has created a unique partnership with Beavertown Brewery, a part of his role on the board. He says: “I’ve worked closely alongside Logan and the team for five years now, during which the new brewery has been built, we’ve opened the first Beavertown pub, and the brand has become one of the most popular super premium beers in the country. “Beavertown’s journey will not see huge change because the strategy is right – the brand is in growth, it has a fantastic culture and work ethos and people love the beers. We will support, invest and grow the company, and I am incredibly excited about the future.” It is expected that the new ownership structure will allow the brand to grow significantly and could see up to 50 new jobs being created. Beavertown is currently outperforming the market by more than three times, and twice that of its nearest competitor. Source: MAT CGA/Nielsen to 21 May 2022. The purchase amount for the remaining shares has not been disclosed.

Krispy Kreme prosecuted for food hygiene offences

Melton Borough Council have prosecuted Krispy Kreme UK Ltd, after a sharp piece of metal was found in a doughnut that was purchased in Melton Mowbray. Krispy Kreme UK Ltd, pled guilty to 3 offences of food hygiene and safety on 5 September 2022 and were ordered to pay a substantial fine, costs and a victim surcharge. The council were first contacted about the incident in April 2021 where they worked with the Food Standards Agency and other partners to investigate the case further. The complainant had originally contacted Krispy Kreme after purchasing the product. They were informed by the company that the foreign object contaminating the product was a piece of foil from the packaging. However, they disputed this claim and raised their concerns with the Food Standard Agency. Krispy Kreme later admitted that they had received two further complaints of similar nature and had identified damage to a piece of equipment, a vari-mixer, yet no controls were in place that could have mitigated the hazards that lead to this incident, such as metal detection or recorded checks of the machine. Prosecuting, Tom Pickwell, senior solicitor at Melton Borough Council, told the Court that: “The council would expect a large national company to have appropriate measures in place to ensure the food safety and hygiene throughout the whole process of the manufacturing, including checks on all equipment. “The fact that the vari-mixer was omitted from the checks does, in the view of the council, fall short of the appropriate levels and a suitable and sufficient safety management system. “Although some systems were in place, they were not sufficient to deal with the full process which led to the incident and Krispy Kreme did not know how long this had been happening for.” Mr Pickwell added that the incident presented a risk of an adverse effect such as choking or cutting within the mouth. In sentencing, the Magistrates said they had taken into account the quality of the equipment, the substantial risk it posed to any customer because of the sharp nature and size of the item and the serious injury that could have happened if it had been swallowed. They also accepted the mitigation put forward by Iain MacDonald, who represented Krispy Kreme and took that into account when sentencing. The Magistrates fined Krispy Kreme UK Ltd £216,000 based on £72,000 for each of the three offences. Melton Borough Council were also awarded their full costs of £4,255.30 and Krispy Kreme UK Ltd were ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £181. Cllr Joe Orson, leader of the Council, said: “Thanks to the perseverance of the complainant and the steps they took to preserve the evidence we have been able to take action against this company and are very pleased with the outcome of this case. “I would like to thank the council’s legal and environmental health teams who worked with our partners, investigated and brought this successful prosecution. Public safety is our primary concern and we hope that our action sends a strong and clear message that the council, the courts and the public take food safety very seriously. We expect appropriate food safety and hygiene standards to be in place and will not hesitate in taking action when these fall short and put public safety at risk.”

Cadman Capital Group strengthens beverage portfolio with acquisition of Alder Ridge Vineyard

Cadman Capital Group has purchased Alder Ridge Vineyard and brand, strengthening its position in the growing English sparkling wine market. Based in Berkshire, Alder Ridge is an award-winning vineyard that has been producing traditional method English sparkling wine for over 9 years. The purchase increases the group’s land under vine ownership to over 130 acres, firmly positioning it as one of the leading landowners in the sector. The deal also secures distribution of Cadman’s existing beverage brands, across the Cobbs Farm Shops estate, the former owner of Alder Ridge. “The acquisition of Alder Ridge represents a commitment to strengthen our portfolio with high performing businesses with considerable opportunities to create value. We are really looking forward to bringing our years of real life operating experience to the Alder Ridge business,” said James Dinsdale, CEO of Cadman Capital Group.

Peckwater Brands acquires Honest Food Company’s operations in four countries

Peckwater Brands (Peckwater), the virtual brand company, has acquired the operations of Honest Food Company (HFC) in four European countries to become the continent’s largest operator of virtual food brands (food brands that are found only on third-party delivery aggregators like Deliveroo and Just Eat), operating from over 500 unique locations. Peckwater, which already has operations in five countries (UK, US, France, Belgium, and the UAE) will expand its international footprint by adding HFC’s operations in Finland, Sweden, Hungary, and Czechia. Founded in 2019, Peckwater Brands builds delivery-only food brands, delivered through a data-driven software solution, which are prepared in kitchens worldwide alongside their day-to-day operations. The business operates a mix of licensed brands spanning several categories including chicken (Seoul Chikin, Flip the Bird, Katsu), burgers (Dukes, Proper Tasty) and have also run shared brands with partners such as Unilever, Buzzfeed, and Heinz. The move to acquire HFC comes shortly after Peckwater’s £15 million Series A funding round in June 2022, which was backed by Stonegate Group, SBI Investments, Fuel Ventures, and Pembroke VCT. This funding round brought the company’s post-money valuation to £65 million, accelerating its expansion into new markets and a secondary software-based offering. HFC is owned by Delivery Hero, having been acquired by the German-listed delivery aggregator in 2020. Leo Bradshaw, executive chair of Peckwater, said: “We’re excited to bring HFC’s excellent operations under the Peckwater banner. Under Delivery Hero’s ownership, HFC has established a leading position in the European market, and combining this with the UK’s largest estate will create Europe’s largest virtual brand operation. “We announced our intention to accelerate international expansion with our Series A funding, and this represents a massive step forward for Peckwater Brands. Having opened our French and Belgian operations organically in the three months since our funding round, we’re delighted to be adding operations in four more mature markets.” Sam Martin, CEO of Peckwater, added: “The growth and development we’ve seen at Peckwater in recent months is astonishing – the dedication of our team and their faultless execution of our strategy has been integral to our success. “The HFC team have shown the same level of focus, talent, and opportunity in building their impressive position in the European market. With their brands now under our banner, I am sure that our rate of growth won’t just be sustained – it will accelerate further.”

Irish Distillers reveals €250m investment plan for new distillery in Midleton

Irish Distillers, producer of Irish whiskeys, is to invest 250 million euro to build a new distillery in Midleton Co. Cork in order to meet demand and ensure the necessary future production capacity for its portfolio of Irish whiskeys globally. The distillery will produce some of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys, including Jameson, Powers, Redbreast, Midleton Very Rare, the Spot family and Method and Madness. The new distillery will be situated on a 55-acre site adjacent and connected to the world-famous Midleton Distillery. Subject to a successful planning application and meeting all licensing requirements, the new distillery will distil pot still and grain whiskey with grain intake, brewing, fermentation, and distillation facilities incorporated into the new 55-acre site. The new distillery is expected to generate up to 100 highly skilled new jobs for the region over time once the distillery is operational in 2025, and circa 800 jobs during the construction phase. Irish Distillers recently announced plans to invest €50 million to fund projects aimed at transforming Midleton Distillery into a carbon neutral operation by the end of 2026 by leveraging breakthrough emissions reducing technology to reduce energy use. In line with Irish Distillers’ ambition, the new distillery will also be a carbon neutral operation. The new site will also incorporate various environmental projects which will be developed in order to enhance biodiversity and protect local wildlife. An expanded distilling capacity is expected to increase Midleton Distillery’s requirement for barley and malted barley by up to 50%, which the company intends to source from Irish farmers. The Irish Distillers project team is partnering with engineering and architecture consultancy firm Arup on the initial design and with Harry Walsh Associates on the planning application. A planning application is expected to be submitted to Cork County Council towards the end of 2022 and, if successful, construction will commence in 2023 with plans for the distillery to be operational in 2025. Speaking at the announcement, Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD, said: “The continued success of the Irish whiskey industry is something that we can be incredibly proud of as a nation. Irish Distillers has played an integral role in the development of the industry. Whiskey has been distilled in Midleton for nearly 200 years, and the €250 million investment will deliver hundreds of more jobs into the future, both during construction and once the distillery is operational. Today’s announcement is an extremely positive development for Midleton and the wider region, and will further solidify Midleton’s reputation as the home of Irish whiskey.” Nodjame Fouad, chairman and CEO at Irish Distillers, said: “At Irish Distillers we are always planning for the future growth of Irish whiskey and today is a momentous day for Irish Distillers and the team at Midleton Distillery as we announce a €250 million investment plan to deliver a new, state of the art distillery in Midleton, Co. Cork which will be a carbon neutral operation. “We are immensely proud of the continued strong performance of our full portfolio of Irish whiskeys, led by Jameson which sold over 10 million cases in our 2022 financial year. The new distillery will be a beautiful, landmark development with sustainability at its core and will serve to further demonstrate our commitment to Midleton and East Cork, generating more jobs for the region and further driving recognition of Midleton Distillery as the beating heart of Irish whiskey.”

Walmart makes equity investment in Sustainable Beef

Walmart has signed an agreement to acquire a minority stake in Sustainable Beef LLC, a rancher-owned company based in North Platte, Nebraska. Walmart’s equity investment is part of a broader strategic partnership to source top-quality angus beef from Sustainable Beef LLC’s new beef processing facility. This partnership helps supplement the current beef industry and provides additional opportunities for ranchers to increase their business. As part of the investment, Walmart will also have representation on Sustainable Beef’s board. Walmart’s investment will help Sustainable Beef LLC open their beef processing facility in North Platte, Neb. The facility is expected to open by late 2024, creating more than 800 new jobs. Walmart’s work with Sustainable Beef LLC will create more capacity for the beef industry. “At Walmart, we are dedicated to providing high-quality, affordable beef to our customers, and an investment in Sustainable Beef LLC will give us even more access to these products,” said Tyler Lehr, senior vice president of merchandising for deli services, meat and seafood, Walmart U.S. “We know Sustainable Beef LLC has a responsible approach to beef processing, one that includes creating long-term growth for cattle ranchers and family farmers. This investment provides greater visibility into the beef supply chain and complements Walmart’s regeneration commitment to improve grazing management.” “We set out on a journey two years ago to create a new beef processing plant to add some capacity to the industry and provide an opportunity for producers to integrate their business of raising quality cattle with the beef processing portion of the industry and do it in a sustainable manner,” said David Briggs, CEO of Sustainable Beef LLC. “During this journey we found that Sustainable Beef and Walmart aligned on continuing to improve how we care for our animals and crops and provide consumers the positive experience of enjoying quality beef.”