Premier Foods

UK manufacturer of store brands and branded products including Typhoo tea, Branston sweet pickles & Hartley jams

Premier Foods’ heritage of long-loved brands dates back to the early 18th century.  Over time, its portfolio came to include a number of store brand products as well as prominent center-of-store brands such as HP canned beans, Ambrosia puddings, Branston sweet pickles, Loyd Grossman sauces, Typhoo tea, and Hartley jams. Premier Foods products are shared with loyal consumers through a variety of channels including supermarkets, convenience stores, foodservice operators and e-commerce sites.

The Value Creation Opportunity

The Kainos team identified an opportunity to invest in an undermanaged food business that was inside Hillsdown Holdings, a publicly traded UK diversified holdings company. In 1991, the team purchased the grocery business of Hillsdown Holdings, renaming the business Premier Foods.  Through this investment, the Kainos team sought to create a leading ambient food platform focused on canned foods, preserves and spreads, hot beverages, and sauces where the Company enjoyed significant scale in the UK. The Kainos team saw the potential to maximize the Company’s dual private label/branded products strategy and ways to generate efficiencies in the manufacturing processes.

Change Capital At Work

The Kainos team led a strategic review of the portfolio of brands to help Premier Foods focus on its core categories.  To enhance management effectiveness, we consolidated the separate operating boards, administrative functions, and sales teams into one common structure and recruited key executive leaders to unify the business. The new leadership team focused on driving brand growth and also completed strategic add-on acquisitions and divestitures to allow Premier Foods to focus on its core business. The divestiture of Horizon Biscuits as well as the acquisition of Nestle UK Ambient Foods in 2002 were key in transforming the Company into a predominantly branded food products company.

Premier Foods completed a successful IPO on the LSE in 2004.