Bread products and freeze-dried foods supplier Chaucer Food Group has been acquired by Japanese firm Nagatanien.

Chaucer supplies bread products including crumb, soup and salad croutons, and bread-based snacks to businesses including Unilever, Heinz, Asda, Nestlé and Walkers. Based in Hull, it also produces the Hoots multigrain snack brand.

Tokyo-based Nagatanien was described by Chaucer as the leader in instant and freeze-dried Japanese food. It plans to use the partnership with Chaucer to enter new markets and provide it with access to clean label products.

Chaucer said the acquisition brings together two “well-established and successful businesses that share the same corporate philosophies and aligned strategies”. The deal is expected to enable Chaucer to further expand its global operations and take advantage of growth opportunities.

Chaucer’ current management team will be retained, and CEO Andy Ducker will continue to lead the group.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Nagatanien,” said Ducker. “They are a longstanding business and the leading brand in the Japanese market for premixed, instant and freeze-dried food.”

He added that Chaucer was excited by the cross-selling and growth opportunities the partnership will open up.

“From inception, Nagatanien’s corporate philosophy has been Aji-Hitosuji - translating to ‘naturally excellent taste’ - and this is perfectly aligned with our own attitude of producing healthy ingredients to meet the growing trend towards healthy eating and nutrition.

“Nagatanien is very keen to support and invest in the Hull Bread business. We have a specific project for expansion next year and they are fully supportive of the investment. It’s an important part of the business.”