VIBRANT FOODS, the ethnic foods platform launched by Exponent Private Equity last year, has acquired premium nuts and spices brand Fudco, its second in a month.
The latest takeover, completed on 31 March, follows the acquisition of paneer maker Everest Dairies earlier in the month. London-based Fudco is the fifth business to join the Vibrant Foods portfolio, alongside the other leading Asian food brands of TRS, East End and Cofresh.
“Fudco’s story is one we have been following for a long time,” Rohit Samani, executive chairman of Vibrant Foods, said. “They have sourced fantastic, premier ingredients, and grown the business from a single, family owned shop in London to the country’s fastest-growing premium Asian foods brand.”
Started as a single retail store on Ealing Road, Wembley in 1979, Fudco now supplies supermarkets and independents with nuts, spices, dried fruits, pulses, speciality flours and other Asian foods. The business also has a separate range in health and beauty, which is not included in the acquisition.
While founding brothers Sheilesh and Akhil Shah will work with Vibrant Foods to support the transition, Sheilesh will be in charge of the health and beauty brands independently.
“For 35 years, we have built a business that cared not only for the quality of our products, but for the community we serve. We are a true family company, and our strong team deserve huge credit in helping us achieve our vision,” Sheilesh Shah said.
“Vibrant Foods has shown how they protect and support ambitious family businesses. I know we’ve found the right partner for our next chapter and I’m very confident Fudco will go on to achieve even greater things. I wish Vibrant and the whole Fudco team the very best.”
The food brands joining Vibrant Foods include Fudco (nuts, spices and other Asian foods), Chai Xpress (ayurvedic, spiced, and herbal teas) and Golden Tree (Mediterranean-inspired nuts and seeds).
Samani added that the partnership with Fudco will cement Vibrant Foods’ position as one of Europe’s leading Asian foods businesses.
“We see this new partnership as a powerful new platform for the brand to take its growth to the next level, as we seek to continue its impressive performance across major retailers and local community stores where Fudco is so known and loved.
“It’s another family run business which we will give new resources and opportunity to, while protecting their legacy.”
Fudco employs 68 people across its headquarters and factory in Willesden and retail store on Ealing Road and distributes a range of 2,500 SKUs.
Fudco’s retail space in London supports its loyal customer base of over 200 independents and cash & carry’s, supplementing its national distribution in supermarkets. Its pioneering ‘store-in-store’ concept, developed in partnership with Sainsbury’s, has also been a hit, rolling out to across 400 of their stores. The brand is found in over 1,000 stores nationwide.