Belfast Telegraph

Assets from gourmet popcorn firm bought by Tayto will move to Devon

By Margaret Canning

Northern Ireland crisps and snacks giant Tayto Group has acquired assets from a gourmet popcorn maker in Co Londonderry after it went out of business.

Tayto has bought over the trade mark, brand name and machinery of Pop Notch in Maghera.

And the company said the Northern Ireland assets will transfer to the production premises of Portlebay Popcorn in Devon - a business which Tayto acquired last year after it went into administration.

It's understood Pop Notch went out of business with a number of staff being made redundant earlier this month.

The company had been based at Glenshane Industrial Park in Maghera and had won Great Taste Awards and Irish Food Awards for its products.

No one from Pop Notch was available for comment last night.

Tayto Group said the transfer of its assets to premises in Devon marked "a strategic expansion of the company's snack manufacturing capabilities".

Chief executive Paul Allen said: "We are currently going through a phase of planned growth in the company and this acquisition of a bundle of assets from Pop Notch is one of several recent purchases for us and, as we already own a popcorn business, this was a natural fit.

"We are constantly looking at ways to expand and to secure the group's long-term future.

"The past few years have brought a lot of uncertainty and some challenges to the market, so being adaptable and able to develop through a variety of channels is essential for the sustainability of our business."

Tayto Group is the biggest British-owned crisp and snack manufacturer, producing five million bags a day across its six UK sites.

The company remains family-owned and its headquarters are in Tayto Castle in Co Armagh. 

Its portfolio includes Mr Porky, Golden Wonder, REAL Crisps, Jonathan Crisp, Portlebay Popcorn and Tayto. 

Montagu Group, a sister company of Tayto, this month announced the purchase of a second vending company, Cambridge Vending. Last year it bought vending firm Freedom Refreshments.

Parent company Manderley Group reported sales growth of 6.5% to £174m during 2017. Pre-tax profits at the group were down from £2.9m to £1.5m.

The firm had spent nearly £400,000 in acquisitions during 2017, including buying up a 75% stake in Portlebay, and buying a minority share in Ape Snacks.

Belfast Telegraph

Weekly Business Digest Newsletter

This week's business news headlines, directly to your inbox every Tuesday.