Distributor Midland Food Group has been bought by Italian firm Granarolo’s UK subsidiary for an undisclosed sum, in a deal designed to boost the latter’s UK chilled food business.

Through the deal, Granarolo has acquired 100% of Midland, which distributes chilled, ambient and frozen food and chalked up £62M in sales in the past full financial year. Midland has focused mainly on serving the foodservice industry, but has a growing retail presence.

However, in a statement, Granarolo said it was significantly interested in the potential offered by its chilled food channel.

“With the acquisition of Midland Food Group, we aim to make an even bigger splash in the British chilled food market, which in 2016 recorded total sales of about ​€100bn and keeps growing.

Made in Italy

“Granarolo UK, which has a current turnover of more than ​€22M with the Made in Italy selection of products (fresh and aged cheeses, pasta and bakery products, balsamic vinegar) will now be able to count on two logistics hubs, with a structured, efficient distribution system.

“It will also have the opportunity to develop direct sales in the large and constantly expanding foodservice sector in the UK. Lastly, we are looking to expand the e-commerce channel already put in place by Midland.”

Granarolo said its manufacturing facility in Saint Omer, in the north of France near the Channel Tunnel would play an increasingly strategic role as a result of the boost to UK distribution capacity.

Willenhall, Basingstoke

Midland has 244 employees and supplies products to thousands of customers from two sites, one in Willenhall, where it also processes and packs a range of fine foods and one in Basingstoke. The latter is a strategically positioned hub, facilitating deliveries to the city and southern areas of the UK.

The dairy sector of Midland’s portfolio already accounts for 30% of sales, according to Granarolo. The company also distributes hams and other cooked meat products, an extensive range of European meats such as chorizos and salamis, and a full range of ambient products for foodservice firms.

The group has a manufacturing arm producing pastry products, sandwich fillings and cooked meats, and an e-commerce portal, IDeli. Distribution across the UK is done though a company-owned fleet of 50 vehicles.