Meat firm Hilton takes stake in veggie manufacturer Dalco

By Katy Askew contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/ siraanamwong
© GettyImages/ siraanamwong
UK meat firm Hilton Food Group continues to diversify with the acquisition of a 50% stake in vegetarian manufacturer Dalco.

Based in Oss, the Ntherlands, Dalco was established by the Wagemakers family in 1975. Today, Dalco develops and supplies vegetarian products to a broad range of customers worldwide from its two facilities located in the Netherlands.

Announcing the move, Hilton said the joint venture agreement with Dalco’s shareholders includes an option for Hilton to acquire the remaining 50% of share capital in 2024.

‘Significantly expand’ veggie offering

Hilton, which produces pizza products alongside its core meat business, stressed that the deal will “significantly expand”​ its offering in the “fast-growing”​ vegetarian market.

“This agreement represents an exciting opportunity for Hilton to broaden its offering in a growing segment of the market,”​ Hilton CEO Philip Heffer said.

The company said that its manufacturing expertise and capital will support Dalco’s growth and enable the group to expand its range into the “next generation”​ of vegetarian products.

Dalco CEO Marian Wagemakers expounded: “We are pleased to have signed this joint venture agreement with Hilton and look forward to the benefits and expertise that this brings to our business and that we can bring to Hilton’s business. It will enable us to expand our operations and continue to focus on giving our customers the right choices at competitive prices.”

Hilton also expects to leverage sales synergies, noting that these new products will feed into Hilton’s customer base as well as servicing Dalco’s existing customers. Heffer noted that Hilton will be able to “meet our customers’ demands​” for Hilton to supply them with “a range of innovative, high quality vegetarian products.”

“We look forward to seeing the positive effects of our tried and tested business model on this relationship, which will be supported by our flexible and versatile approach to meeting local requirements.”

Hilton has historically grown its business through joint venture deals with local players. In Australia, the company operates a joint venture with Woolworths, supplying the supermarkets private label meat products.

Hilton is not the only European meat company diversifying its protein offering. Germany's MHP group has invested in a series of clean meat and alternative protein ventures, including most recently Bugfoundation. Meanwhile the UK's Cranswick has diversified its offering by developing its pastry business in the country. 

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