coop white and bran own label bread

Source: Jacksons

Supplying own-label bread to the Co-op has helped drive strong sales growth at William Jackson Food Group (WJFG).

Turnover at Jacksons Bakery owner WJFG rose by more than a third (35.2%) in the year ended 30 April 2022, up from £226.3m to £305.9m 

Operating loss fell from £21m in 2021 to £4.5m in 2022, and EBITDA increased from £2.1m to £11.9m.

WJFG, which also owns veg box firm Abel & Cole, oils and vinegar brand Belazu and the Wellocks ingredients business, reported that its sales had been boosted by growth in foodservice and food-to-go, and through the contract Jacksons won in 2021 to supply Co-op with own-label bread.

Hull-based Jacksons took over the contract previously operated by Allied Bakeries, and began supplying own-label products including an 800g toastie loaf and a white & bran loaf to Co-op stores across the country.

Under the deal, Jacksons bakes Co-op’s bread and it is distributed daily across the UK by Warburtons.

“Our bakery enjoyed success with their innovation for the Co-op,” said WJFG chairman Nicholas Oughtred in accounts filed at Companies House.

“Fourteen new products were developed, and our team worked collaboratively with Warburtons across the year to develop a logistics network to deliver the loaves to Co-op stores across the UK.”

WJFG reported that its total turnover from branded and own-label supply to retailers had risen from £21.7m in 2021 to £44.9m in 2022. Ingredients and foodservice turnover rose from £89.2m to £162.7m, while direct-to-consumer sales fell from £115.5m to £98.4m.

Looking ahead, the company acknowledged the challenges of Ukraine, the cost-of-living-crisis and labour concerns, but said it was a “much stronger business than we were entering the pandemic, both financially and in our ability to remain agile and react quickly to new challenges”.

In October, Oughtred handed over the reins of the business to Sonya Eastaugh, great great great granddaughter of founder William Jackson.