Nestlé Purina PetCare Acquires Lily’s Kitchen; Nurture Brands Snaps Up The Primal Pantry

The FGB Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer and challenger brands. In today’s edition: Nestlé Purina PetCare acquires Lily’s Kitchen; Nurture Brands snaps up The Primal Pantry; and Lingumi raises £4m in another edtech success story. 

Nestlé Purina PetCare acquires Lily’s Kitchen

Nestlé Purina PetCare has acquired natural pet food brand Lily’s Kitchen, the UK’s leading producer of premium wet and dry natural foods for dogs and cats. 

Established 12 years ago in founder Henrietta Morrison’s kitchen in London, Lily’s Kitchen has become an internationally recognised £85m retail brand offering natural recipes for dogs and cats across 6,000 stores in 30 countries. The pioneering brand is particularly popular among younger pet owners and millennials.

Natural foods represents one of the fastest growing segments in the pet food category, reaching 7% of total pet food with double digit growth of 10%. Lily’s Kitchen recently expanded into the Middle East and Asia and already has a growing presence in France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany.

Bernard Meunier, CEO, Nestlé Purina PetCare EMENA said: “We very much respect the powerful brand, strong ethical values and impressive sales growth their experienced management team has achieved. Natural foods represents an exciting and rapidly expanding part of the pet care market, and this move reflects our desire to act on consumer trends and invest in high-growth categories.”

Lily’s Kitchen will continue to be run as a stand-alone business from its base in Fitzrovia, London.

Nurture Brands snaps up The Primal Pantry

Fast-growing plant-based snacking group Nurture Brands has agreed a deal to buy healthy snack bar brand The Primal Pantry.

The Primal Pantry becomes the latest acquisition in the Nurture Brands portfolio, alongside other high-growth brands such as milk alternative Rebel Kitchen, crisps brand Emily and coconut-focused Ape Snacks.

Founded in March 2019 following the merger between Ape and Emily, Nurture Brands has said it aims to be the UK’s fastest-growing plant-based snacking and beverage business.

The Primal Pantry is a natural fit for Nurture Brands, sharing a common desire to make genuinely delicious, high quality plant-based snacks” said Nurture founder Ben Arbib.

“The Primal Pantry becomes our first purchase of 2020 and demonstrates our intent to be a key player in plant-based consumer goods in the UK and beyond”.

Suzie Walker, who founded The Primal Pantry in 2013, will join Nurture Brands to assist in the transition and integration of the business. Two years ago Primal Pantry secured a £3m investment from NVM Private Equity to help further expand its UK retail presence and boost international growth.

Lingumi raises £4m in another edtech success story

UK-based start-up Lingumi, a platform focused on teaching toddlers critical speaking skills, has announced it has raised £4m to expand its offering.

Start-up fundraising has slowed down during the coronavirus lockdown, with data showing that funding rounds have fallen by 22% recently, but the edtech space appears to be thriving.

The platform hosts interactive courses focused on one-to-one tutoring. Linguimi says its offering is 95% cheaper than live courses and more flexible too, so parents and children can learn at their own place. The courses include interactive speaking tasks, teacher videos and games.

It is also one of the apps on the Department for Education’s approved early years’ learning list too, along with hand-writing platform Kaligo. Initially, Lingumi launched in China, focusing on teaching spoken English to non-English speakers but the platform is now used by more than 100,000 families, including in the UK, Germany, Italy, and France, as well as in mainland China and Taiwan. Around 40% of users are playing the lessons daily.

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