The Northern Ireland company behind fizzy drink Shloer will now sell peanut butter after snapping up a firm in England in a multi-million pound deal, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.
SHS Group in Belfast has paid an undisclosed sum for 3V Group in Hampshire - a move adding trendy spread brand Meridian to its portfolio. 3V also owns Rocks, a brand of organic squashes.
Elaine Birchall, the chief executive of SHS, said: "The acquisition of Meridian and Rocks strengthens our owned-brand portfolio and manufacturing capability as we continue to invest in bringing high quality brands to a wide range of channels and geographies.
"We are delighted to have acquired this dynamic business."
While the amount of the deal was not made public, it’s understood 3V Natural Foods Group has been acquired for a multi-million pound sum.
Russell Smart, commercial director of 3V, said: “The team at 3V have worked incredibly hard to bring innovative and relevant product development to the market in response to changes in consumer demand over the last 12 years.
“The SHS Group, with its depth of expertise in fast-moving consumer goods brands, will help support our growth strategy and market reach in the UK and beyond.”
The protein-rich make-up of peanut butter has led to a big surge in popularity among health-conscious consumers.
And other forms of nut butter have also taken off. Meridian also makes almond butter, cashew butter and sunflower seed butter. It also manufactures fruit spreads and nut bars.
SHS Group, based at Airport Road West, reported a jump of 23% in turnover to £467.7m during 2016. It also reported a 33% rise in pre-tax profits to £24.8m during the year. It employs nearly 800 people.
In July, SHS Group announced it had bought Standard Brands in Surrey, which produces Sunny Jim firelighters and the Zip range of fire products. It has also snapped up no&more, which sells flavoured spring water.