Mondelēz International agrees to acquire Mexican confectionary company

Mondelēz International has entered into an agreement with Grupo Bimbo to acquire its confectionery business, Ricolino, for approximately $1.3 billion USD. Ricolino is a growing business with a leading confectionery position in Mexico. The acquisition will transform Mondelēz International’s business in the high-priority Mexico market to accelerate growth and scale in core snacking categories. With approximately $500 million USD in annual revenue, Ricolino employs close to 6,000 associates, has four manufacturing facilities and distributes its products to several channels, including traditional trade, supermarkets, convenience stores and others. Its iconic brands Ricolino®, Vero®, La Corona® and Coronado® are leaders in lollipops, marshmallows, chocolates, gummies and other confectionery products. The acquisition will double the size of Mondelēz Mexico’s business and provide an attractive entry point into the chocolate category, while expanding the company’s presence in snacking. It also provides significant opportunities for synergies and accelerated growth. For Grupo Bimbo, the baking company, this transaction will enable focus on its grain-based baking and snacks businesses. “This acquisition will provide a step change for our business in Mexico, an important growth market for us, more than tripling our routes to market and growing our position in core snacking categories,” said Dirk Van de Put, Chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International. “We are thrilled to welcome Ricolino’s talented people and amazing brands into the Mondelēz International family.” Many of Ricolino’s chocolate and candy brands have more than 50 years’ history in Mexico. Today, the company’s more than 2,100 direct store delivery routes reach 440,000 traditional trade outlets, providing significant scale and broad brand availability. “We ventured into the confectionery industry with the establishment of Ricolino in 1970; today, after 52 years of growth and progress, it is the industry leader in Mexico. We truly recognize the Ricolino family for this amazing accomplishment and are deeply thankful for their commitment and hard work. I’m confident that Mondelēz International will leverage these amazing brands to a much higher position,” said Daniel Servitje, Chairman and CEO of Grupo Bimbo. “I want to take the opportunity to thank all of our associates for their dedication and commitment. They have given their best and I feel very proud of them,” said Fernando Lerdo de Tejada S., President of Ricolino. The acquisition of Ricolino will build on Mondelēz International’s continued prioritization of fast-growing snacking segments in key geographies. In January 2022, Mondelēz International closed on its acquisition of Chipita S.A., the leader in the Central and Eastern European snack-size cakes and pastries category. This followed a year of growth in 2021 supported by the acquisition of Grenade, a leading UK performance nutrition company; Gourmet Food Holdings, a leading Australian food company in the attractive premium biscuit and cracker category; and Hu, a well-being snacking company in the United States. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, will be funded through an issuance of debt and cash on hand and is expected to close in late Q3 or early Q4 2022.

World’s biggest brands to attend UK’s largest packaging event

Tesco, Quorn, Sainsbury’s, Next, and Primark are just some of the major names set to attend Packaging Innovations and Empack 2022, as the UK’s flagship packaging event reunites the industry at NEC Birmingham on 25 and 26 May. Brands attending will have the opportunity to discover new suppliers from across the sector, providing them with perfect platform to network and do business. Excitement for the first NEC show in over 18 months is clear with so many recognised names already signed up to attend, including supermarket giants Asda, Tesco, Waitrose, and Lidl; retail mainstays Next, FatFace, and Matalan; and drinks specialists Warner’s Distillery and Innocent Drinks. Many of the world’s leading beauty brands will be in attendance, including L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, Roja Parfums, No.7, and Avon, as will household brands like Unilever, DHL, and Clintons. Not only will attendees get to experience the latest packaging developments and technology from over 300 industry leading exhibitors, but they can also hear the latest insights from some of the world’s most forward thinking experts as part of the seminar programme. Across three stages, sessions will tackle common questions faced by packaging designers and technologists, as well as specific advice for the manufacturing, logistics and processing industry professionals. Renan Joel, divisional director for Easyfairs, says: “We are extremely excited to welcome our guests back to the NEC after a year and a half. With so many incredible brands already signed up to attend, alongside many hundreds of industry-leading exhibitors, it is shaping up to be a fantastic event. We cannot wait to see people do business face to face again, and this sentiment is clearly reflected by the sheer number of registrations we have already had. We can’t wait for May!” To register to attend Packaging Innovations and Empack NEC 2022, please visit the registration page. For any further information, please visit the Packaging Innovations and Empack NEC 2022 website or contact the show team on +44 (0)20 196 4300 or

The Ferrero Group to acquire FULFIL Nutrition

The Ferrero Group is to acquire FULFIL Nutrition, the high-quality, vitamin and protein bar company which has direct sales in UK as well as distributing to Ireland and other European and Asian Pacific markets. The Ferrero Group plans to maintain and further build FULFIL’s strong brand authenticity, while supporting the company and its distributors with innovation and expansion to new markets and category segments opportunities. As part of the transaction, The Ferrero Group will take over the brands’ portfolio, and plans to retain the management, the distributors and the employees of the business. This move will enable Ferrero to expand in this relevant better-for-you market segment, meeting the evolving needs and trends of consumers. The transaction, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the next months.

Emerging vegan businesses to get an investment boost from Seedrs and Vevolution

Seedrs, the private investment platform, and Vevolution, the global investment marketplace for plant-based and cell-ag fundraising opportunities, have revealed a new partnership to increase investment in plant-based and cell-based businesses. Both platforms have long supported Europe’s $1.3bn (and growing) vegan market. Seedrs previous successful campaigns include Allplants (£4.5m), The Vegan Kind (£600k), THIS (£4.4m). In 2021 alone, Vevolution facilitated partial or full funding into 25 startups including MeliBio, Evo Foods, Jellatech, Opalia, and more. This new partnership expands the investment opportunities open to startups in the plant-based and cell-based economy who are meeting the needs of increasingly socially conscientious consumers. As part of the new agreement, plant-based businesses will be able to use Vevolution’s network to source lead investors as well as have the opportunity to tap into Seedrs’ strong investment community for equity crowdfunding, allowing them to build a more diverse investor base as they grow. Kirsty Grant, Seedrs chief investment officer, said: “The vegan market is one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK and Europe, with appetite to invest in the sector remaining high. Teaming up with the Vevolution team means that entrepreneurs in the space have the ability to source their entire investment needs from investment and market experts.” Erik Amundson, Managing Director and co-founder of Vevolution, added: “It’s the perfect partnership. Often companies need the lead investment from Vevolution to get a crowdfunding campaign off the ground. We are dedicated to supporting the global movement for plant-powered positive change in the world. To do this we need to connect these exciting startups with smart money. By working in partnership with Seedrs we are broadening the access to investors from our network of angel investors and Seedrs community of retail investors that believe in the movement.”

Hartley’s make the Everyday Pudding category jelly-ous with exciting Jelly Sours NPD

Hartley’s is bolstering its offering in the Everyday Pudding category with the launch of a deliciously tart Jelly Sours range. Having already delivered £3.2m of growth to the category since 2017, Hartley’s is confident this launch will contribute towards its category vision growth aspirations of an extra £49m RSV sales over the next five years. Being the experts in all things wobbly, Hartley’s has created the new sub-range based on ongoing consumer trends toward sweet and sour flavour combinations that more ‘grown-up’ kids love. Each Hartley’s Jelly Sours pot (RRP: £0.65 per 125g pot) is made with real fruit juice, contains less than 100 calories and is HFSS compliant, making it a perfect everyday choice as a post-dinner pudding, lunchbox filler or afternoon snack. The range comes in the following fruity flavours:
  • Sour Strawberry
  • Sour Cherry
  • Sour Apple
Hain Daniels International Marketing & NPD Director, Ruth Snowdon Gough says: “Our new Hartley’s Jelly Sours range has been developed to bring something new and exciting to the category. We know our current range of flavours is much-loved by younger children, but we wanted to create a range that enables the brand to appeal to a wider audience. “We know older children are looking for more complex flavours that have ‘playground appeal’ and Sours does exactly that! Created in line with HFSS guidelines, each of the three jelly pots contain a different sour fruit flavour that we know consumers will love. Currently 12% of households are buying Hartley’s Jelly pots so the new launch is a real opportunity for growth, both for the Hartley’s brand and the wider category.” The range is available in Asda nationwide now and Tesco from May 2022.

i2r wins second prestigious Queen’s Award

Market leading aluminium foil tray manufacturer, i2r Packaging Solutions, has been awarded with a second Queen’s Award for Enterprise, this time for innovation. The company, who previously won their first award in 2020 for international trade, is one of only 226 organisations nationally to be recognised with a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2022. With an established reputation for innovation excellence, i2r achieved their award in recognition of their patent protected i2r Ultra™ smoothwall aluminium foil container, a stronger yet lighter tray used for packaging high quality ‘ready to cook’ convenience products including red meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, BBQ food and desserts. The multi-award winning design uses a new style of embossing to dramatically increase stress resistance, creating a reduction in weight, price point and environmental impact of the product. In its development, the design went through a protracted process using finite element analysis (FEA) predictive software and thereafter independent scientific testing and validation, including compression and tension tests conducted against the relevant ISO standard. In increasing the sustainability of its products by reducing the amount of material used through design optimisation, i2r is able to give commercial choice by presenting innovative and authentic products at a lower price point against comparable containers, thereby creating added-value for their customers’ brands. Jon West, i2r’s chief commercial officer, said: “We were delighted to receive our first Queen’s Award, but to be awarded a second is fabulous news and a huge honour. Reducing packaging by design and increasing awareness of recyclability is an essential element of our business ethos, so to have our innovation accomplishments formally recognised in this way is a triumph for the company.” Now in its 56th year, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the country, with winning businesses able to use the esteemed Queen’s Awards’ Emblem for the next five years. Applications for Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2023 open on the 1st May 2022. For more information, visit For more information on i2r, visit

UK’s flagship packaging event unveils new features to inspire the industry

Packaging Innovations and Empack 2022 will introduce two brand-new interactive features, The Big Debate and the Sustainability Tail, when it returns to Birmingham’s NEC on 25 and 26 May. The features are designed to address the challenges being faced by industry professionals at every point of the packaging journey, from conception to consumer. The Big Debate, the event’s headline feature, will take place across both days where it will seek to voice new perspectives on the Government’s latest packaging regulations affecting suppliers, manufacturers, and consumers. The expert panel will be made up of industry-leading names, including OPRL’s Executive Chair and Director, Jane Bevis; the UKRI’s Challenge Director of Smart Sustainable Plastics Packaging, Paul Davidson; and Head of Compliance at Clarity Environmental, Martin Trigg-Knight. Key challenges around reducing the industry’s carbon footprint will be addressed by the event’s brand-new Sustainability Trail. The guide will provide visitors with an ‘eco-roadmap’ of the most innovative ‘green’ products from the show floor. Only qualifying exhibitors that have been vetted by judges and fulfil a host of sustainable criteria will feature. Alongside the two brand-new features for 2022, the event will host an array of other exciting elements, taking visitor involvement and interaction to new levels, including The Innovation Showcase. Here, 12 new concepts will compete against each other to win the coveted prize of ‘Most Innovative Pack’, with the winner crowned via a public vote. The interactive element of the competition will be sure to excite the event’s thousands of visitors, as they will be able to get up close to some of the most cutting-edge solutions on the market. Alongside these interactive features, the event will host a new and improved seminar programme set across three stages, featuring a raft of the industry’s biggest and most inspiring experts, including speakers from Ocado, Nestlé, and HP. Sustainability will be the central focus of the Ecopack Stage where experts will explore ‘the win-win of sustainably designed packaging’ and Extended Producer Responsibility. In addition, the Ecopack Challenge will provide a stern test for innovators, as participants seek to create a novel and sustainable packaging solution. Meanwhile, the Innovation and Design Stage will discuss how to turn bespoke packaging into R&D Tax Credits, and welcome The Refills Forum, focusing on the key factors in delivering refillable and reusable packaging. Finally, the Empack Technology Stage will cover a range of forward-thinking topics, from packaging for e-fulfilment, and how to embrace digital technology changes within a business, through to using technology to maximise sustainability in a growing packaging market. Renan Joel, Easyfairs’ Divisional Director, says: “The interactive show features at Packaging Innovations and Empack are something our visitors look forward to year-on-year and are a key part of what sets us apart from other industry events. Our new features, the Sustainability Trail and The Big Debate, showcase our industry’s central pledge to reduce its environmental impact and how we can achieve this. “Meanwhile, our seminar programme contains a glittering array of industry names, poised to share their wisdom and know-how to our visitors across three stages. Every session will aim to educate and inspire our guests, as our panels and speakers tackle the challenges and developments affecting our industry right now. The packaging landscape is changing so quickly, and we are delighted to have such a broad range of sessions suited to every possible packaging need, from the design stage through to the shelf. We cannot wait to open the doors in May!” To register to attend Packaging Innovations and Empack NEC 2022, please visit the registration page. For any further information, please visit the Packaging Innovations and Empack NEC 2022 website or contact the show team on +44 (0)20 196 4300 or

NewCold grows again

Europe’s largest ‘deep freeze’, on former steelworks land in Corby, is months away from completion. Automated cold storage specialist, NewCold, started work on the development in late 2020 to meet growing demand from the food manufacturing sector. Ross Hunter, supply chain director, explains: “The company already has a strong demand for its services at its Wakefield site and sees Corby as a prime location in the logistics ‘golden triangle’, with proximity to frozen distribution centres of large retail and food service customers. This will enable NewCold to help our customers reduce food miles and cut costs.” When fully operational the site will employ more than 250 people, but industry-leading automation will play a key part in the facility’s operation for NewCold, which has headquarters in the Netherlands and operates from fourteen locations on three continents. Ross Hunter adds: “Since opening our first UK site in Wakefield seven years ago, we have seen an increase in demand for our warehouse and transport services and although the Wakefield facility is the largest of its kind in the country, handling 4,000,000 pallets annually and storing 143,000 at any given time, demand has outstripped supply.” It meant a decision to establish another facility further south in the United Kingdom came easily for the company, which promises to bring additional benefits for customers, including frozen food manufacturers and importers. “Furthermore,” says Ross hunter, “a focus on sustainability at both the Wakefield and Corby sites, our unique cold store design – which uses around 50 per cent less energy than conventional stores – coupled with our ability to reduce food miles by using high-volume trailers, will greatly reduce CO2 emissions and energy use.” The Corby operation will enable NewCold to offer their services to customers for whom Wakefield may not be geographically well-situated or who have run out of space. NewCold have been in talks with high volume potential customers, to add to an impressive list of Wakefield customers, associated with global brands. Each will benefit from NewCold’s sustainable transport, storage and WMS solutions, including automatic handling equipment to reduce loading times, while retaining product integrity. “The decision to build a second facility,” concludes Ross, “has been driven by an increasing wide-scale demand for storage and handling, while the number of deep-frozen storage facilities has reduced. This has seen cold stores at capacity during certain times over the last two years and the trend appears to be continuing, so we feel this is the right time to invest.”

Kite Packaging donates £22,000 to local charities

Kite Packaging, an employee share-owned business, has recently made sizeable donations to charities across the UK. Each of the eleven company divisions votes on charities to support every year and in 2022, this donation value has doubled from £1000 to £2000. This reflects the growth of Kite and the succeeding desire to give back to areas of its community who may be struggling the most. Where there was a tie in votes, the sum was simply divided between the two top charities. The Midlands Regional Distribution Centre (RDC), Kite Online (KOL), Kite Environmental Solutions (KES) and Central Administration, National Distribution Centre (NDC) and Warehouse make their four Coventry-based divisions. They voted for Zoe’s Place, Coventry Haven Women’s Aid, Coventry Food Bank, East Midlands Children’s Heart Care Association and Myton Hospice. Beyond Coventry, Kite have centres at Rotherham, North East, Swindon, Portsmouth, Sittingbourne, Letchworth and Shredhouse at Wiltshire. These bases voted for Andy’s Man Club, Sands, Rainbow Trust, CHUF (Children’s Heart Unit Fund), STEP, Mind – Solent, Air Ambulances, SATEDA (Swale Action To End Domestic Abuse), Garden House Hospice and Youth Action Wiltshire respectively. Many of the charities expressed recent challenges with staff losses and a drop in fundraising morale, making Kite’s contributions all the more important for the continuation of their services. Businesses have been reluctant to support charities in the past years due to concerns over their own financial security. Following the continued success of Kite, the employees are delighted to be granted the opportunity to make a positive impact on aspects of their localities that may be struggling.

Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I to reduce fleet CO2 emissions at Magor brewery by 92%

Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, part of AB InBev, has revealed a major transport scheme at its Magor Brewery to reduce CO2 emissions, as part of the brand’s ongoing sustainability programme and ambition to reach net zero at its UK breweries by 2026. The brewer has partnered with logistics provider EV Cargo to switch half of the HGV delivery trucks at its Magor brewery from traditional diesel fuel to hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), delivering an immediate 92% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per every kilometre driven compared to diesel. The move will significantly reduce CO2 emissions and is a key strategic initiative aligned with Budweiser Brewing Group’s sustainability targets to reduce emissions across its value chain. HVO is a sustainable fuel derived from vegetable and animal oils. Budweiser Brewing Group will conduct an initial transfer of 20-25 vehicles to HVO fuel, with the aim of increasing to 50 trucks at its Magor site later this year. With 36 billion litres of diesel consumed in the UK annually, this is a major step by Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I in tackling climate change. Mauricio Coindreau, Director of Procurement & Sustainability, Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, said: “We are excited to be pioneering the use of HVO at our Magor brewery, which will result in significant reductions in CO2 emissions across our UK operations, highlighting the importance of green logistic initiatives.” Virginia Alzina, EV Cargo’s Chief Sustainability Officer, said: “As a member of the Science Based Target Initiative and signatory to the UN Global Compact and its sustainable development goals, EV Cargo has supported many key customers in introducing sustainable initiatives to reduce carbon emissions associated with their distribution operations. We are proud to help Budweiser Brewing Group and AB InBev further decarbonise its supply chain as part of the net zero strategy.”