Beechdean Ice Cream has fully acquired Lovington’s Ice Cream, expanding on a deal earlier in the year which saw them take 50% of the business.
They purchased more shares for an amount which has not been disclosed, and are now planning to expand the business.
Local ice creams
Beechdean have decided to expand the Lovington’s brand in the West Country, using only locally sourced ingredients. This is part of their plan to build on their British credentials, which is in keeping with their own overall ethos.
After acquiring the Lovington’s site in Somerset, Beechdean now have four ice cream sites in the UK. Managing director Andrew Howard explained that their intent is to grow their production capacity as well as to add extra brands to their fold. This means plenty of new food jobs in the dessert sector.
“We are a customer centric business and this means, as a group, we have much more to offer our growing client base,” he said. “We are putting substantial investment in both the manufacturing capabilities as well as the sales and marketing side of the business to capitalise on the excellent reputation the business has developed.”
They will also be looking to grow and strengthen the offerings that Lovington’s has in the food service and leisure sectors, and bring them to new markets throughout their local area. There are expectations for significant food recruitment drives in the near future as they seek to grow these areas and put more staff into their new business.
Growing dessert empire
Beechdean was founded by Andrew and Susie Howard in 1989 to produce ice cream. They also make sorbets and various other frozen desserts, despite the brand name only referencing their main output.
They have now grown to the point of producing 30Ml of ice cream annually, with three UK-based factories. These are based in Somerset, Cheshire, and the Chilterns.
It is clear that they are keen to grow their dessert empire and become a major force in the UK food scene. They also acquired Enjay’s Pancakes earlier this year. They currently supply the Royal Albert Hall and Ambassador Theatre Group exclusively, meaning that plenty of theatre-goers are already well-acquainted with their offerings.
Lovington’s will be an interesting addition to their brand because it offers dessert options for a range of dietary concerns. They have a strict policy of excluding nuts from their products and every part of the production process, helping sufferers of nut allergies to find a risk-free dessert.
They have also banned artificial flavourings and colouring, and genetically modified organisms. Anyone who is wary of eating non-natural ingredients will find them a good choice. Finally, all of their ice cream is also suitable for vegetarians. With rising waves of alternative diets in the consumer market, these are good manufacturing choices to make, and could see them become a force to be reckoned with.
There are a lot of mergers, acquisitions, and sales currently going on in the food industry. Experts are debating whether the cause is a more buoyant economy in the UK, or a preparation for the upcoming turbulence of the final Brexit negotiations.
Some business owners are doubtless looking to solidify their British presence and cut ties with the continent just in case things don’t work out as planned. Others are confident enough to take advantage of the doubt lingering in some owners’ minds, buying out companies in order to take the strain of the future changes.
Whatever the case may be, the food industry is certainly seeing some shuffling at the moment. It’s good news for some, and for others, it remains to be seen.