GettyImages-846067582 sandwich LauriPatterson

Source: Getty Images / LauriPatterson

Premium food-to-go supplier The Real Wrap Co has become the latest acquisition of Samworth Brothers.

The food manufacturing giant had taken a minority stake in the Bristol-based business last July, with the remaining shares subsequently purchased this month for an undisclosed fee.

The Real Wrap Co was founded in 2010 by childhood friends Philippe Gill and Jason Howell. Starting out as a healthy fast food shop in Bristol, it grew quickly to supply the NHS, TUCO, and airlines before stepping up production in 2015 with a move to its Avonmouth site.

Its current range includes pre-packed sandwiches, wraps, toasties, croques, rolls, ciabatta, and paninis, as well as salads, pasta pots, snack pots and more. These are distributed chilled or frozen to customers across multiple channels including healthcare, travel, foodservice, coffee shops and other convenience outlets.

The Real Wrap Co’s full accounts posted to Companies House for the year ended 31 March 2023 reported turnover of £27.5m, a 75% increase from the previous year’s £15.7m in sales revenue. This growth was said to be driven by new business and an uplift from its existing customer base. However, gross profit dropped by 3.1% to 21% in FY23 due to rising costs of raw materials and labour.

A £1.7m investment was also made during the financial year on an expansion project at the factory, which helped improve site infrastructure and increase production capacity to support its future growth plans.

“We believe the category is well-positioned for growth”

A Samworth Brothers spokesperson confirmed that Gill, Howell, and the rest of their existing management team would continue leading the business forward, with Samworth Brothers Group Executive Board member Paul Davey maintaining his seat on The Real Wrap Company board.

“We are really excited about developing The Real Wrap Co business in the coming years and we are delighted to be supported by a like-minded partner in Samworth Brothers, to help us continue to do an amazing job for our customers, our people and our planet,” commented Gill and Howell in a joint statement.

Samworth Brothers Group CEO Hugo Mahoney noted that Food To Go had been a “tremendous success” for the manufacturer in recent years. “We believe the category is well-positioned for growth,” he said.

“The Real Wrap Company is a dynamic, innovative young company that shares our values and focus on quality foods. Real Wrap has great future potential, and the capability and scale of Samworth Brothers will help support further development for The Real Wrap Company business,” Mahoney added.

Samworth Brothers manufactures food-to-go items at its Manton Wood site in Nottinghamshire – acquired from 2 Sisters Food Group in 2018 and across the road from Greencore’s factory – as well as at two sites in Leicestershire operated by Melton Foods and Bradgate Bakery.

Bakery brands in its portfolio include Ginsters, Urban Eat, West Cornwall Pastry Co, Dickinson & Morris, Soreen, The Cornwall Bakery, and Walkers.

It is a majority shareholder in savoury pastry specialist Higgidy, which is looking to bounce back from a £3.4m loss in its latest financial year having invested £10m to expand its Shoreham-by-Sea factory in 2022.

Last month, Samworth Brothers’ venture capitalist arm Perfect Redd led a $3m investment round of healthier doughnut brand Urban Legend.