Bel UK bets on plant growth with the acquisition of Mont Blanc-Materne | New

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The Bel Group, producer of Babybel and Boursin, has acquired healthy fruit-based snack company Mont Blanc-Materne as part of a drive to become more fruit- and plant-based.

Part company Bel Group has acquired 100% of the share capital of Mont Blanc-Materne (MOM), which produces snack brands including Mont-Blanc, Materne, Pom’Potes and GoGo Squeez.

The group previously held 82.5% of MOM’s capital, buying the balance from former boss Michel Larroche and MOM management.

Bel UK, the UK arm of the expanded group, said the expansion of the GoGo Squeez range in the country would “play a pivotal role in the evolution of healthy fruit-based snacks”.

“Diversifying our portfolio will not only allow us to grow as a business, but also provide our retail partners with healthy sales opportunities and impactful new promotions,” said Justine de Monès, Senior Director of Mark. “Reflecting this, exciting projects are in the works for GoGo Squeez this year.

“Additionally, due to our non-HFSS status, we are currently the only children’s fruit snack brand that can fully leverage this through advertising and multiple in-store touchpoints.”

He said the brand’s non-HFSS status would allow the group to put its “marketing expertise behind heavy on-pack promotions”.

The group’s efforts to become more fruit and plant-based have resulted in significant investments in the research and development of new innovative products. Nurishh, Bel’s first line of 100% plant-based cheese alternatives, is already among the top three brands just one year after its launch. Babybel and Boursin have also launched plant-based alternatives over the past 12 months.

For the Bel Group in the broad sense, the acquisition provides Bel with “very complementary sector and geographic coverage”, with the aim of strengthening its position in France and the United States.

As part of the acquisition, Cécile Béliot, CEO of Bel, will succeed Michel Larroche as head of the MOM group. She will be responsible for implementing the strategic directions that will allow the company to strengthen its position in the healthy snacking market.

Béliot adds: “The Bel and MOM groups share the same philosophy: eating better can change lives. With leading positions in the most dynamic market segments, I am particularly enthusiastic about the idea of ​​this merger with MOM, which has participated in the great successes of healthy snacking in recent years, and which will contribute to the strategic development of the Bel Group. .

Meanwhile, Bel UK’s financial accounts for the year to December 31, 2021 showed sales fell from £115.8million to £116.3million during the year thanks to higher sales volumes.

Gross profit was £21.8m from £20.4m, but pre-tax profit fell to £4.0m from £4.4m due to higher costs and fair value adjustments.

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