Trolli Candy’s UK distributor Innovative Bites ups snack portfolio with baked pretzels range

Elephant pretzels are now available in the UK, distributed by Innovative Bites.

Innovative Bites, importer and wholesaler of mainly US grocery products in the UK, has added a Romanian snack to its lineup. 

Elephant pretzels, developed by Romanian food manufacturer, Alka Group, comes in three flavors - including sea salt, black & white sesame and mixed seeds - packaged in 40g, 90g and 180g packs.

“Snacks have always been a part of Innovative Bites' business: New York-style pitta chips [were] the first brand we sold,” said Innovative Bites' founder, Vishal Madhu.

Madhu said consumer trends are changing, particularly how often people shop, where they shop and what foods they are eating.

“Consumers, especially parents, are looking for healthier snacks [but] still want something tasty, which is where the natural toppings like seeds and salt come in,” he said.

Elephant pretzels are baked, which makes them healthier than crisps, which are often fried, Madhu said.

Increasing snack portfolio

Snacks currently account for under 10% of Innovative Bites’ sales, but Madhu said the category is expected to account for half of the company's sales by the end of 2017. The company also imports and distributes Hostess Twinkies and Trolli confectionery.

“Snacks play a small part, however, we predict it’s an area that will have significant growth for us,” he said.

Acquisitions and business outlook

Innovative Bites has made several acquisitions in the past year in an aim to become one of the UK's leading confectionery suppliers.

It acquired Bonds of London in 2016, and recently purchased Hancocks Holdings, a UK supplier of wholesale sweets, from H2 Equity Partners.

The company now has a customer base of 7,000 retailers, which Madhu said “gives us a strong platform to introduce new lines into the market place.”

“We’re always looking to add brands to our portfolio if it’s a right fit for our business and customers,” he said. “For the time being, though, we will focus our efforts on Trolli confectionery and Elephant pretzels.” 

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