Kitwave snaps up foodservice supplier

Kitwave Group, the UK-based delivered wholesale business, has acquired M.J. Baker Foodservice Limited, the independent foodservice supplier. Founded in 1999 and based in Newton Abbott, Devon, M.J. Baker offers over 3,500 products in ambient, chilled and frozen foods, together with alcohol, confectionery and non-food items. The leading brands are complemented by a range of products under the Bakers Best Buy lines. M.J. Baker will be incorporated into Kitwave’s existing Foodservice division which currently has the existing trading operations of H.B. Clark & Co. (Successors) Limited and David Miller Frozen Foods Limited. Paul Young, Chief Executive Officer of Kitwave, said: “The acquisition of M.J. Baker is an excellent addition to our Foodservice division and expands the Group’s nationwide reach into the South West. M.J. Baker is renowned for providing a quality delivered solution to its customers, a key part of the Kitwave Group ethos. “I am delighted to welcome the M.J. Baker team to Kitwave and we look forward to continuing to build our nationwide foodservice offering as part of our growth strategy.” David Brind, Chief Financial Officer of Kitwave, said: “This acquisition significantly adds to Kitwave’s Foodservice division and extends the reach of our services into an important region of the U.K. The integration of M.J. Baker into the Group’s Foodservice division complements our existing operations and reflects Kitwave’s strategic direction and expansion ambitions, both through acquisition and organic growth.”

ADM strengthens flavour capabilities with South African acquisition

Global nutrition leader, ADM, has completed its acquisition of Comhan, a South African flavour distributor. ADM has worked together with the local business for a number of years, with the formal acquisition now giving new and current customers more direct access to ADM’s extensive portfolio and network of experts. “This acquisition marks a very exciting moment for ADM, as we continue to develop our Nutrition business in key growth markets including Africa. I am confident that this acquisition will open up opportunities for our customers in the region and build on the capabilities of our existing offices in Nigeria and Kenya,” said Calvin McEvoy, President Global Beverages ADM. McEvoy added: “At ADM we believe it is critical to invest in flavour creation assets globally to extend production and supply chains, making it easier to get unique and consumer-preferred flavours to local customers. “The acquisition of Comhan means we can bring together our 80 years’ experience in the flavour industry and Comhan’s unique market insight to generate innovative products which cater to local tastes and interests. Comhan’s business is currently focused on beverages but through this new partnership we plan to grow the distribution capabilities to include food and savoury products.” Welcoming Comhan into ADM’s portfolio comes together with other recent investments in alternative flavour production, including the company’s recent state-of-the-art facilities in Pinghu, China and Berlin, Germany.

The Wensleydale Creamery launches new heart shaped truckle for all-year-round gifting


The Wensleydale Creamery has launched a new limited-edition 100g heart shaped truckle of its popular Yorkshire Wensleydale & Cranberries cheese.

Creamy, crumbly, and full of flavour, Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese has been carefully combined with the delicate fruity succulence of sweet cranberries, and wrapped up in an eye-catching red wax heart shaped truckle.

The Wensleydale Creamery was the first to launch Yorkshire Wensleydale & Cranberries back in 1996, and since then it has firmly established itself as a beloved household staple, becoming one of the Creamery’s best sellers.

The special-edition cheese is available at £2.25 RRP for 100g and can be bought direct from the Wensleydale Creamery’s Online Deli and select independents and farm shops.

To find out more, please visit:

Azelis acquires Turkish food ingredients and additives distributor

Azelis, a global innovation service provider in the specialty chemicals and food ingredients industry, is to acquire Tunçkaya, a prominent distributor of food ingredients and additives in Turkey. This acquisition further strengthens Azelis’ position in the fast-growing and attractive Turkish market for food, as well as in the broader life sciences market. Tunçkaya’s portfolio of products complements the Group’s lateral value chain for the domestic market, thereby further expanding its expertise and product offering to customers. Tunçkaya employs 25 people from its headquarters in Istanbul and serves over 500 customers. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, after fulfilment of customary closing conditions. Sertaç Sürür, Managing Director Azelis Turkey, says: “We’re very happy to bring Tunçkaya into the Azelis family. Their strong relationships in the food market and general market position is a fantastic addition for our lateral value chain and complements the organic growth of Azelis. “Turkey is a fast growing region, and an increasingly important market in the food segment, so we’re delighted to grow together with Tunçkaya. We look forward to combining our talents, and leveraging our combined capabilities and expertise for our customers and principals in Turkey and across the wider EMEA region.”

CULT Food Science invests in cell-based chocolate innovator

CULT Food Science, an investment platform with a focus on clean, lab-grown food, has diversified its cell-based food portfolio via a strategic investment into the cultured chocolate manufacturer, California Cultured. Based in Davis, California, California Cultured uses cell culture technology to produce cocoa products like cocoa powder, chocolate, and cocoa butter with the goal of creating sustainable and ethical chocolate for consumption around the world. California Cultured is focused on manufacturing cocoa by cultivating select optimum cocoa cells in tanks. Ingredients are to be sourced in the United States, which will ensure that its products adhere to high ethical and sustainability standards. Two major concerns surround the production of chocolate – child labour on cocoa farms and deforestation. The chocolate industry is currently worth over USD 100 billion and relies on cocoa farmers to continue producing cocoa at a rapid pace. On average, cocoa farmers earn below-poverty wages, which motivates them to seek the employment of children who receive little or no compensation. Some children are taken from their families at a young age, forced into harvesting cocoa, and do not return home for years. Over the last ten years, the occurrence of child labour has continued to become more prevalent in countries like Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Regarding the second concern, the production of cocoa often relies on monoculture growth, which leads to complete deforestation on cocoa farms resulting in loss of primate populations in many West African countries where most of the cocoa farming is done. “CULT is proud to support such a revolutionary venture that is aiming to be a leading catalyst in changing the global food industry for the better. California Cultured’s innovative, responsible and disruptive pursuit aligns well with our company’s ethos. We believe cell-cultured cocoa is the next step in the sustainable, safe, and ethical food production of a major global food category,” said Lejjy Gafour, president of CULT.

European biotech experts partner to advance production of animal-free milk proteins

BRAIN Biotech and Formo Bio are launching a strategic collaboration to further advance the production of animal-free milk proteins. BRAIN Biotech is an industrial biotechnology company, Formo is a pioneering food-tech startup in the space of alternative milk protein. As experts in their field, the two biotech companies are powering European innovation. Formo will scale up their bioidentical milk protein production with a genome editing technology, leveraging BRAIN Biotech’s expertise and its proprietary BEC platform. The strategic alliance aims to optimize the microorganisms to further expand novel and sustainable protein production for commercial use through precision fermentation. Formo is introducing an entirely novel product category alongside both animal-derived products and plant-based alternatives – the Berlin-based startup develops identical milk proteins with specialized microorganisms. As the first European company, Formo strives to revolutionize the $700 billion dairy market while cutting down on gigatons of CO2 emissions. Formo builds on the increasing demand for sustainable food among consumers – recently, the company conducted a consumer survey confirming that 79 percent of consumers are willing to try animal-free cheese products. “We are proud to be partnering with BRAIN; such a renowned company with which we share our passion for biotechnology and the mission to foster sustainability: using precision fermentation, we can remove the cow from the dairy supply chain, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 91 to 97 percent,” said Dr. Britta Winterberg, co-founder and chief scientific officer at Formo. “With the expertise of top-notch scientists in our team and with a dedicated partner in strain engineering, our products can be the first of their kind produced on an industrial scale and offered at competitive prices. By partnering with BRAIN, we can establish our role as a global market leader at a more rapid pace.” “We are looking forward to providing Formo with our genome editing expertise and proprietary BEC nuclease to support their strain development for the production of animal-free cheese products. Precision fermentation is an example of how genome editing technology can be used to generate a protein that is nature-identical but can be produced more sustainably than animal protein,” said Dr. Michael Krohn, head of R&D at BRAIN Biotech AG. “Formo is a pioneer in many respects. Their agile decision-making processes, their candid approach to negotiations and their clear ideas on how to market their products in Europe make Formo an ideal strategic partner for BRAIN. Combined with our technological expertise, this results in a unique partnership,” said Dr. Martin Langer, EVP and head of business development at BRAIN Biotech AG.

Demand for online sales leads to e-commerce investment for iconic Yorkshire brand, Wensleydale Creamery

The Wensleydale Creamery, based at Hawes in Wensleydale, in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, is investing in its e-commerce operation to optimise its business for increased direct-to-consumer demand. The new e-commerce operation will see the brand launch a new website with plans to expand the operations team to facilitate the projected increased demand from UK consumers. The new website, which showcases the Creamery’s rich cheesemaking heritage and provenance, aims to enhance and streamline the customer experience of buying online, direct from the artisan cheesemaker. The investment follows recent increased online sales, which accelerated during the pandemic. Capitalising on the online food-buying trend, the Creamery is perfectly positioned to deliver direct to the increased number of consumers searching online for authentic food and all year-round gifting options. The Creamery already sells directly to many loyal fans through its Online Deli, with freshly cut handcrafted cheese and a range of locally sourced artisan accompaniments, deli boxes and luxury hampers and gifts. The business has generated a 145% sales increase vs pre-pandemic levels and has further ambitious targets for the forthcoming year. Sandra Bell, Marketing Manager at the Wensleydale Creamery, commented: “We’d identified the direct-to-consumer route as an opportunity for our business, and with the notable rise in online food sales activity over the past two years, we’ve been able to test our model to support our investment and growth plans. We’re now in a great position to expand our e-commerce offering and services and provide an enhanced online consumer experience to cater to the increasing customer demand. “Our new website will make the shopping experience even smoother, allowing us to showcase our handcrafted cheese and artisan produce, and develop new ranges, not only for key calendar occasions but also all-year-round gifting for cheese lovers across the UK.” To find out more, please visit:

Spirits supplier Heaven Hill snaps up Samson & Surrey

Heaven Hill, the American, independent, family-owned and operated distilled spirits supplier, has acquired Samson & Surrey, including its portfolio of brands and facilities. The acquisition of Samson & Surrey further extends Heaven Hill’s portfolio with six high-growth, super-premium brands in several of the industry’s fastest growing categories. “Throughout our 86-year history, our focus has been building a business with a portfolio of great brands sold through a great team,” said Max L. Shapira, president, Heaven Hill Brands. “The Samson & Surrey portfolio strategically enhances our portfolio with emerging brands in strong growth categories. Together with their team, Heaven Hill is poised to leverage the tremendous potential of these exciting brands.” Under the leadership of Robert Furniss-Roe and Juan Rovira, Samson & Surrey has built a portfolio of highly differentiated premium brands growing at 60% per annum, tracking $40m in Sales and present in over thirty markets worldwide. Included in the acquisition are Tequila Ocho, Widow Jane American Whiskey, Few Spirits, Brenne French Whisky, Bluecoat Gin, and Mezcal Vago. The company will continue to operate as an independent division of Heaven Hill led by Robert and Juan. “Over the last five years we have enjoyed unprecedented success thanks to the talents of our team, the truly remarkable award-winning liquids we make, and the engaging consumer stories we tell. The combined talent, scale, and resources of Heaven Hill now present a unique opportunity to provide a long-term home for Samson & Surrey and to further accelerate our growth,” said Robert Furniss-Roe, co-founder and CEO, of Samson & Surrey. “We believe strongly in the potential of our brands which are perfectly positioned to capitalize on the key spirits market trends. We could not be more delighted to join Heaven Hill and work together to continue building a strong portfolio in the premium and super-premium segments,” further commented Juan Rovira, co-founder and COO of Samson & Surrey. According to DISCUS Super Premium Tequila and Whiskey continue to enjoy growth rates more than 30% over the last five years as American consumers continue to adopt more premium products. Perella Weinberg Partners LP acted as exclusive financial advisor to Heaven Hill with respect to the transaction. RBC Capital Markets, LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Samson & Surrey.

Kerry launches sustainability programme to support milk suppliers transition to more sustainable farming practices

Kerry, the taste and nutrition company, has launched a €6 million dairy sustainability programme which will support the acceleration of science-backed sustainability actions and best practices across farms in Ireland. Over 3,000 farm families across the south west of Ireland will benefit from the initiative which will provide technical and financial support to the company’s milk suppliers to help them transition to more sustainable farming practices. As a result of these changes it is expected that there will be a very significant reduction in carbon and ammonia emissions, improvements in water quality and enhanced biodiversity. Pat Murphy, CEO of Kerry’s Dairy Business, said: “Consumers globally want to consume food in a more sustainable way and it is important to examine how we can deliver dairy in a better way for people and the planet. Our Beyond the Horizon sustainability strategy sets out ambitious targets and our dairy business is committed to supporting our milk suppliers in the adoption of sustainable actions. “Our milk-suppliers are already amongst the most sustainable milk producers in the world and we will continue to work with them to build upon that advantage and accelerate the enhancement of bio-diversity and water-quality across our catchment and in reducing carbon and ammonia emissions. “Our ambition is to reach over two billion people with sustainable nutrition solutions by 2030. A central element of this strategy is a commitment to work with our suppliers to reduce emissions intensity by 30% across our supply chain. This dairy sustainability programme underpins our ambition to work with our milk suppliers in achieving these targets and in forging a sustainable future.”

Theakston announces permanent relaunch of ‘Masham’s best kept secret’

Iconic Yorkshire brewery T&R Theakston has announced plans for the permanent return of its much-loved Theakston XB beer after a two-year absence.

The 4.5% ale will be available to stock in pubs and bars across the nation from March 2022, following a return of licensee confidence in cask ale after the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

Often referred to as ‘Masham’s best kept secret’, Theakston XB is a premium strength ruby ale brewed with Bramling Cross and Fuggle hops, boasting subtle rhubarb and apple fruit flavours. First brewed in the 1970s, XB is brewed in Masham and was designed in tribute to the classic English and Scottish ‘border’ style of beer and has quietly established itself as a firm favourite of cask ale enthusiasts.

Theakston XB is the last of the brewery’s core portfolio to be reintroduced following the ongoing coronavirus lockdowns and is to be reinstated at a time when pubs and bars are demonstrating cautious optimism over a growing return to normality.

Simon Theakston, managing director at T&R Theakston, said: “We are certainly raising a glass to the permanent return of Theakston XB as we witness renewed confidence in the future of the hospitality sector from customers and licensees alike. As a beer that is strong in gravity with a low but complex hop character, Theakston XB was and remains an instant success.

“After the unique challenges of the coronavirus pandemic on the sector, we are delighted to now be in a position to permanently reintroduce one of our staple beers, and to continue to diversify the portfolio of handcrafted, legendary ales that we have built our almost 200-year reputation on.”