Andy Pollard, managing director of AB Mauri UK and Ireland, talks about the benefits generated by the company’s recent acquisition of Holgran and Fleming Howden.

When you walk along the wrapped bread aisle, regardless of which retailer or discounter you visit, it is clear consumers are faced with multiple choices.

It is therefore imperative that manufacturers have ways of discriminating brands from each other, to add interest and variation, and to hopefully drive up retail prices and margins. Whether that is through cereal fermentation, increased fibre, low carbohydrates or natural flavours, for example, it is something we in the ingredients industry have to pay close attention to, and to support our customers in their desire for differentiation.

Inclusions can boost the consumer value proposition – be it seeds, grains, malt flakes or a blend of those. One benefit of our recent Holgran acquisition is its broad coverage of these categories. And when we align Holgran’s activities against categories in which we work, there are synergies to be explored; the ranges are a great complement to each other. For example, the natural flavours and aromas found in malt have a key role to play in other areas for us, and our team will be exploring this further.

Fleming Howden, our other recent acquisition, is a brand that enjoys a strong reputation in the Scottish baking industry, an area where we have regrettably had little involvement in the past. Fleming Howden prides itself on having a key Scottish customer base in, and loyalty to, the Scottish baking industry. In return, it is dedicated to providing the perfect mix of core bakery ingredients.

Maintaining the working principles and visibility of Fleming Howden within the marketplace is critical to the ongoing success of Scottish bakers. Fleming Howden understands the range desired by its customers and what the expectations are. This is why you won’t see the name Fleming Howden disappear, or an AB Mauri identity applied to the operation at Newbridge.

When it comes to acquisitions, one great thing is the opportunity to learn. Various AB Mauri teams based in Corby, Northampton, Royston and Hull have already enjoyed visits to the new sites and gained great insight into their operations, and vice versa. The collaboration from all sites within our business will only continue to grow.

In light of what we’ve done here, I fully expect us to continue developing technical capability. There are some really exciting plans in place and the benefits that our customers will enjoy are already becoming apparent.