Somerdale acquires blended cheese business of Abergavenny Fine Foods

Somerdale International has announced that it has acquired the blended cheese business of Abergavenny Fine Foods (AFF) for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition includes the transfer to Somerdale of AFF’s blended cheese processing assets, brands and associated trademarks. In doing so, it will reinforce Somerdale’s position as a leading supplier of blended cheese to over 30 countries across the globe.

The acquisition will enable Somerdale to grow and develop its portfolio of blended cheeses developed specifically for the international marketplace. The deal will see Somerdale acquire the full rights to a number of well established brands including Tintern™ and Harlech™ which AFF previously produced in partnership with Somerdale. In doing so, it will allow Somerdale to give greater focus to these brands, with plans reportedly already in the pipeline to grow sales through new product development, packaging and marketing activity.

As a result of the acquisition, Somerdale will transfer the production of blended cheese to its other award winning cheese making partners. These include Joseph Heler, the third generation family-run cheesemaker based in Cheshire, that already produces much of the cheese that features in Somerdale’s best-selling Westminster and Coopers Hill brands.

The news of the acquisition comes at a time when Somerdale’s comprehensive range of classic and contemporary blended cheeses are in strong growth with branded sales up 10.4% year on year. In addition to the brands being acquired from AFF, these include traditional favourites such as Wensleydale & Cranberries; more modern and luxurious cheeses such as Somerdale’s Champagne Cheddar and Il Truffelino (which combines the creamy texture of classic English cheddar with the complex and luxuriant flavour of Black Summer Truffle); through to taste bud tingling flavours such as Cheddar with Chilli & Lime.

Commenting on the acquisition, Alan Jenkins, director of Somerdale International said: “We are delighted to have acquired the assets of AFF’s blended cheese business. In particular, it will strengthen our position as the leading exporter of British blended cheeses and, working closely with our award winning cheese makers, it will enable us to give greater focus to the development of brands such as Red Dragon which is already one of our largest selling brands in the US market.

“Across both established international markets such as North America and Australia, and new emerging markets such as China sales of our branded blended cheeses are growing strongly. Key to this is our ability to offer innovative and great tasting flavour combinations; create tailored and seasonal blended cheeses that can provide real excitement and a point of difference to a cheese fixture; and respond to the growing consumer-demand for demonstrable quality, provenance and the evermore important use of clean ingredients and labelling. Our acquisition of the AFF blended cheese business will reinforce both our capacity and capabilities in this fast growing and dynamic part of the market.”

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