Udi’s owner Boulder Brands quits UK gluten-free market

Boulder Brands – owner of the Udi’s gluten-free brand – has pulled out of the UK market.

US-based Boulder entered the UK in May 2013 by purchasing Cheshire-based gluten-free operation Davies Bakery, and got off to a strong start with the launch of products including Udi’s fresh sliced white and brown sandwich bread into 800 Tesco stores.

Boulder stated its ambition was to become “category captain” of the UK’s burgeoning gluten-free market.

But these ambitions came to an end following the acquisition of Boulder Brands by US food giant Pinnacle Foods in a $975m (£800m) deal in January this year.

In February, Pinnacle said it would be streamlining the $500m US Boulder range in order to improve the cost structure of the business.

Pinnacle also undertook a review of the UK Boulder Brands business.

“After reviewing the Boulder Brands UK (BBUK) business, Pinnacle decided to continue to focus on its North American-branded food business and, accordingly, has ceased BBUK’s operations in the UK marketplace,” a spokesman told British Baker.

JPS Chartered Surveyors has been appointed to sell the assets of Boulder Brands UK by auction. This includes raw materials and packaging, and equipment such as packing kit, slicers, chillers and depositors.

Since its roll-out in Tesco in 2013, the Udi’s UK product range had grown to more than 50 products and was stocked by retailers including Asda and Sainsbury’s.

As recently as this February the business was gaining new UK listings – making its debut in Morrisons with a line-up of seven products, including a Tiger Bloomer, Plain Bagels and Multi-seeded Bagels.

According to data from retail analyst BrandView, Udi’s products have been phased out in UK retailers during the summer. One of the final products on sale were Udi’s blueberry muffins, which were available in Tesco until last month.

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