The bakery landscape continued to change in 2022 with a series of mergers and acquisitions as businesses looked to secure a larger slice of the pie.

Here, British Baker looks at some of the biggest deals in 2022 and what they meant for the firms involved:


St Pierre branded burger buns and brioche loaf with sandwiches

Source: St Pierre Groupe

Grupo Bimbo embraces brioche with St Pierre Groupe deal

St Pierre Groupe joined the ranks of Grupo Bimbo after the international bakery giant bought the brioche specialist in October.

The business, which owns the St Pierre, Baker Street and Paul Hollywood brands, will continue to operate independently with David Wagstaff at the helm as managing director. It reported a £111.5m turnover and £7m operating profit in its accounts for the year ending 31 December 2021.

Grupo Bimbo has the “right infrastructure and expertise to propel the brands on to even greater success”, according to St Pierre Groupe which had seen organic growth in recent years with a series of NPD, including brioche bagels, and new listings.


Genius Tiger Bloomer

Source: Genius

Genius added to German confectionery giant’s portfolio

Gluten-free specialist Genius Foods represented German firm Katjes Greenfood’s first majority investment when it bought the business for an undisclosed sum this summer.

Katjes Greenfood – the investment arm of German confectionery group Katjes – said it was opening a new chapter in its corporate history with the acquisition of what is described as the UK market leader in gluten-free and the number two brand in Europe. Genius, which is headquartered in Edinburgh, also has a presence in Australia and the United States.

Genius is thought to be focusing on gut wellness following the acquisition and has also been improving its recipes as well as its packaging, which promotes the gluten-free, milk-free, and high fibre credentials of its products.


Peter's Yard crackers

Source: Peter’s Yard

Lotus Bakeries goes crackers for Peter’s Yard

Sourdough cracker and crisp firm Peter’s Yard joined the likes of Nākd, Trek, Bear and Kiddylicious in the Lotus Natural Foods portfolio after it was purchased by Lotus Bakeries in the summer.

Peter’s Yard has been on an upwards trajectory with UK sales doubling to £6m since 2019 when the Belgian-headquartered business first bought a stake in it.

The deal saw Lotus Bakeries take its first steps into savoury snacking with plans to leverage its capabilities and expertise to further accelerate the growth of Peter’s Yard.


Jobs saved by Boparan’s acquisition of Elkes Biscuits

More than 500 jobs were saved at Elkes Biscuits’ factory in Uttoxeter after it was acquired by Boparan Private Office at the start of the year.

Previous owner 2 Sisters opened a consultation on its potential closure in September 2021 after deeming the business ‘significantly loss making’ and commercially unviable.

Kevin Hand, Uttoxeter site director, hailed the sale as a “fresh chapter” as he wants to build a long-term sustainable business that offers opportunities for growth.


Foxs Biscuits rebrand image

Source: Fox’s Biscuits

Burton’s and Fox’s join forces

There was further movement in the biscuit category as Fox’s Biscuits and Burton’s Biscuit Co united to form a new business called Fox’s Burton’s Companies (FBC) UK.

FBC UK is led by Simon Browne, who had worked as managing director for Burton’s since 2015.

The move followed the firms’ respective acquisitions by a Ferrero-related company in autumn 2020 and summer 2021. The integration brought with it a “significant opportunity” to further build on the two companies’ success through distribution and expansion into new markets.


L-r: Bradley Grimshaw, Dr. Schär UK MD, Sabrina Mutschlechner, Dr. Schär head of corporate business development, Ronnie Stebbings, GDR MD and Peter Hintner, Dr. Schär COO

Source: Dr. Schär

L-r: Bradley Grimshaw, Dr. Schär UK MD, Sabrina Mutschlechner, Dr. Schär head of corporate business development, Ronnie Stebbings, GDR MD and Peter Hintner, Dr. Schär COO

Dr Schär boosts UK presence with GDR acquisition

Dr Schär outlined plans to venture into the UK fresh bread market for the first time after it acquired Glasgow-based, allergen-free fresh bread manufacturer GDR Food Technology in early 2022.

GDR Food Technology trades as Just: Gluten Free Bakery and produces baked goods including bread, rolls, teacakes, and flatbreads from its site in Scotland.

The deal, which also saw Dr Schär add its first UK production plant to its portfolio, is designed to help the firm reach its goal of being recognised as the number one brand in gluten-free.


Raspberry and white chocolate cake

Source: Just Desserts

Regal Foods gets its Just Desserts

Yorkshire-based Regal Food Products Group got its Just Desserts in 2022 after buying the Shipley desserts specialist at the start of the year.

Just Desserts produces a wide range of tarts, cheesecakes, and gateaux for the foodservice industry. It continues to run as an independent business with NPD and innovation at the forefront of both agendas, said Regal CEO Younis Chaudhry. The move would also see Just Desserts’ products made available through ecommerce platforms.