AF Blakemore acquisition targets vegan opportunity

Patrick Mitchell-Fox
Senior Retail Analyst
@RetailAnalysis

Date : 13 August 2020

AF Blakemore, the midlands-based regional wholesaler and SPAR distributor has announced the acquisition of online vegan specialist retailer and wholesaler Vegan Store.  With its well-established vegan ranges across grocery, impulse and health and beauty categories, this addition to the Blakemore family of businesses brings a further dimension to its capability in sourcing and supplying innovative products in this fast-growing specialist food sector.

Product portfolio includes in-house Golden Crunch brand

Sourcing the best vegan products from around the world, the Vegan Store has also developed a number of exclusive confectionery brands in partnership with supplier partners including Golden Crunch, Super Fudgio and Clarana Smarties.  As part of the acquisition agreement the founder of Vegan Store, Lisa Ruskin, will be joining the Blakemore business in a consultative role to help continue the development of vegan categories going forward.

Established role in B2B supply

As well as selling online direct to consumers since 2000, since 2008 Vegan Store has also developed a role in B2B supply providing access to its full range to other retailers as a specialist wholesaler.  On joining the Blakemore business this will be further extended not only to include Blakemore’s company-owned SPAR and Philpotts stores, but also its extensive network of nearly 700 affiliated SPAR stores across the midlands, south east and Wales.

Jerry Marwood, Group Commercial Managing Director, AF Blakemore commented:

‘The vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is predicted to be the choice of up to 25% of the British population by 2025. By acquiring Vegan Store we are adding a niche brand to our portfolio that we will be able to develop and grow in line with forecasted market growth.  We now have access to some of the best vegan products in the world, such as Go Max Go candy bars and Vegg, but in addition we can continue to create innovative new product development through Vegan Store’s Golden Crunch brand.’