Premier Foods eyes new categories after transformative year

Chief executive Alex Whitehouse said Premier’s strong financial performance – revenue up 10.3% and operating profit up 60.1% – put it in a great position to expand.

“Using the core skills that we’ve developed in building and driving growth from brands, we’ll be looking to expand into new categories in the UK, broadening our base in the UK, but also scaling up our overseas businesses,”​ said Whitehouse.

“What we are also going to start doing now is looking for appropriate bolt on acquisitions that support the expansion, either by giving up presence in a new category in the UK or by giving us more critical mass in one of our focus overseas markets.”

Into the unknown

Premier’s focus will be to stretch its brands into categories not currently covered by the group, with the option to create new brands – as it did with its plant-based snacking range Plantastic.

“In terms of tangible examples, I think the biggest is Cape Herbs and Spice,”​ Whitehouse continued. “We became the UK distributor at the back end of last year and it’s done very well and now we’re rolling that out to the mainstream supermarket stores across the first part of this year.

“In this particular case we did it through becoming a distributor of somebody else’s brand, but we might well do things through our existing brands or our position. Cape Herbs and Spice gives us presence in a category were previously weren’t present in.”

‘Positively transformational’

Darren Shirley, consumer equity research analyst at Shore Capital said: “Set against a troubled decade, FY2021 has been positively transformational for Premier as management continued to harvest the benefits of focus, simplification and careful, nay constrained, brand development.