Exponent has reached an agreement to acquire indulgent, premium dessert brand, Gü, from Noble Foods for an undisclosed figure.
Gü is the clear leader in the UK chilled desserts market. Its restaurant-quality desserts are much loved by consumers and have led the growth of the premium segment for retailers. In recent years, it has expanded into new and growing categories such as Free-From, which has accelerated its growth trajectory and highlights its strength in product innovation. Gü also has a strong and growing presence in France and Germany.
Noble Foods acquired the brand in 2010 and has supported its growth over the last ten years, including by investing in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Bishops Stortford which opened in 2018. Last year it drove the brand to the top spot in the chilled dessert category, with retail sales value up +25% YoY to more than £69m (Nielsen, Total Market data to w.e 24.04.21) - the second consecutive year Gü achieved double digit growth. Growth has been underpinned by continued product innovation, which has seen the business grow its range of Cheesecakes, Mousse and Hot Puds as well as entering the Free-From category. Its newest range – Gü Inspirations, based on bakery favourites – was successfully launched earlier this year and there is a pipeline of further products in development.
Pete Utting, Managing Director at Gü said: “We are excited to be partnering with Exponent on the next stage of Gü’s growth journey. The team has a deep understanding of the food and drink sector and a strong track record in adding value to well-known brands such as Loch Lomond Whisky, Vibrant Foods and Eat Real and Proper, and most notably returning Quorn to growth and expanding its presence internationally during its ownership of the company between 2011 and 2016. Exponent has already committed to a significant investment to further increase capacity at our UK site, which will enable us to meet our future demand from the UK, Europe and the US.”
“Noble Foods has been a great custodian of the brand over the last ten years, and we are extremely grateful for their support in helping us grow the business.”
Duncan Everett, CEO of Noble Foods Group, commented: “We strongly believe that Exponent has the necessary expertise to grow the Gü business even further, especially increasing its international reach. The sale allows us to invest and grow Noble Foods’ core business and brands. I’d like to thank Pete and his team for the exemplary leadership and steering Gü into the leading position it holds today.”
Simon Davidson, Senior Partner at Exponent commented on the acquisition: “We are very pleased to welcome Gü to the Exponent portfolio. We have followed the business for over a decade, having recognised its exceptional brand, great products and strong growth potential. We now look forward to supporting Pete and the team as they deliver its next phase of growth. Building on its success in the UK, we believe Gü has enormous international potential with the opportunity to create a truly global, premium indulgence brand.”
The sale is expected to conclude in June.