UK vegetable supplier Tuber eyes retail channel after Saxon deal

Tuber Group, a UK vegetable supplier, has acquired Saxon Foods from the Abbeydale Food Group, for an undisclosed sum.

The company, based in Yorkshire in northern England, said the thinking behind the deal is to give it a more consumer-facing element to its portfolio.


Saxon, headquartered in Lincolnshire in eastern England, supplies frozen “added-value” vegetable products – including jacket potatoes, mushy pea pots, chips and curry sauce pots – to retailers, wholesalers and the foodservice market in the UK. Its products are also sold into continental Europe.


The company, which employs 80 people, was created following Abbeydale’s acquisition of B2B supplier Country Chef in 2011. It was given a name change and a new distribution model.


Tuber Group was founded in 2017 by Steven Humphrey to supply potatoes to food processors and packers in the UK. It now procures fresh and frozen produce for food processors and foodservice businesses worldwide.

It said it will retain the Saxon Foods trading name. All jobs at the company’s site have been transferred to the new owner.


Humphrey, Tuber’s managing director who owns the business with his wife Rebecca, said: “Having started as a potato supplier, in recent years we have expanded our offering to include a diverse selection of fresh and frozen produce. The acquisition of Saxon Foods is a great opportunity to build on the good work Abbeydale Food Group has done with the business and the fantastic team it has established.


“We believe we are best placed to drive the company’s continued development, taking it to the next level and adding significant value to the UK frozen food sectors with the benefit of our global procurement capabilities, as well as our plans for exporting added value cooked British potato products globally.”


He continued Tuber plans to “bring global eating trends” to the UK frozen market for retailers’ own-label brands and “build on existing customer relationships by offering more SKUs of potato and sweet potato products and further grow our presence in the frozen coated potato market”.


Humphrey said the aim is to double the current turnover within three years. Tuber’s turnover is GBP4m but that will increase to GBP10m following the Saxon acquisition.


Andrew Hayes, managing director of Abbeydale Food Group, said: “After being part of Abbeydale for the last ten years, we believe that Tuber Group is a natural home for Saxon, enabling the business to gain from the group’s purchasing benefits. The new owner also has some exciting plans to build on Saxon’s success and take it to the next stage in its development.


“The sale will also allow Abbeydale to focus on developing other parts of the group, including our Summit Foods business which has already doubled in the last 24 months.”


Source: Just Food