By Sam Butler
PIONEERING plant-based snack manufacturer Kestrel Foods has acquired the Just Live a Little Granola brand from its current owners. The brand will join Kestrel Food’s award-winning portfolio of Forest Feast, Acti-Snack and Private Label to continue its growth within the plant-based arena.
The Just Live a Little brand was founded in 2012 by David and Jill Crawford, who began making and selling artisan granola at local markets.
The granolas became a firm favourite in homes, hotels, and cafes across the country, and has continued to flourish, with listings in Waitrose, Ocado, Tesco NI, as well as many fine food retailers.
The range includes healthier non-HFSS granola such as whole almond granola, low sugar coconut and chia granola, and bramley apple and cinnamon granola.
The deal is expected to enable Kestrel Foods to offer delicious and healthier crafted products across more categories, and it signals the business’s ongoing commitment to becoming an innovative leader in the plant-based snacking market.
Over the past 24 years, Kestrel Foods has seen impressive and consistent annual sales growth, continuously adapting to changing markets, and pioneering new products, processes, and technology.
The business has recently invested £2.8 million in its world class manufacturing facility, which now employs 80 people at its headquarters in Portadown, County Armagh.
Michael Hall, owner and managing director of Kestrel Foods, said: “The acquisition of the Just Live a Little brand is aligned to our ambition of creating an innovative snacking and granola business with a strong portfolio of brands, brilliant products, and world class capability.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to build on the legacy of the Just Live a Little brand for wholesome artisan granola and snacks.”
Kestrel Foods owned flagship brand Forest Feast has fared extremely well throughout the pandemic with retail sales up 26 per cent year-on-year.
Known for its high quality, crafted snacks that are both tasty and better for you, Forest Feast has recently launched ranges of slow roasted and seasoned nuts, Belgian chocolate coated nuts and chocolate coated dried fruit.
Kestrel Foods is a family-run business at the forefront of the market for premium dried fruit, nuts, seeds, snacks and granolas.
The multi-award-winning business handcrafts everything onsite at its Northern Ireland base, exporting to 26 countries worldwide.
Kestrel Foods has a strong branded portfolio which includes Forest Feast and Acti-Snack and a customer base which includes retail, foodservice, e-commerce and travel retail.
The business is committed to working with suppliers who share their vision and values for sustainable supply.
Its 25-year relationship with the PREDA Fair Trade foundation, based in the Philippines, has contributed to building a sustainable future for the communities from which they source.
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