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Group expands e-commerce portfolio by acquiring online food retailer.

Nottingham-based Huddled Group plc, which is focused on building a portfolio of e-commerce brands, has acquired Sheffield-based retailer Food Circle Supermarket for a total consideration of up to £300,000.

Founded in 2018, by owner/operators Paul Simpson and James Barthorpe, Food Circle is an online, direct-to-consumer retailer specialising in discounted foods for healthy and specialised diets such as high-protein and energy products. It delivers around 3,000 orders per month, with an average order value of about £40.

The business has seen strong growth since inception and delivered unaudited revenue of £1.4m and a small net loss of £46,000 for the year ended 31 December 2023.

With access to additional funds to grow its range and other expected synergies as a result of becoming part of the group, Huddled Group’s Board believes Food Circle can be grown significantly.

Simpson and Barthorpe will continue in their current roles and will be supported to expand the business.

Martin Higginson, chief executive officer of Huddled Group, said: “We’re happy to announce this exciting opportunity to further strengthen our position in the online surplus food and drink market, alongside our existing brand, Discount Dragon.

“Food Circle is positioned at the intersection of a number of market trends; the continued search for value among consumers, the demand for e-commerce and direct delivery services, and the growth in health and nutrition products to support active lifestyles.

“It has developed important relationships with brands for whom responsible disposal of surplus stocks remains a priority and this will remain a core mission for Food Circle.

“Paul and James have done an amazing job growing the business to a turnover of £1.4m with very limited capital and therefore range. We are convinced given access to additional funds the pair will quickly grow this business to new heights.”

Simpson and Barthorpe added: “We have worked hard to build our business from the ground up since our formation in 2018, and feel now is the ideal time to join a growing group with exciting ambitions for the future.

“We believe Huddled Group is the perfect partner to help us unlock the huge potential of Food Circle.

“The business is positioned in a rapidly growing market, and we are confident this acquisition will enable us to build on the work we have done so far in helping brands to reduce waste, while maintaining their brand equity, and offering consumers access to high quality products at competitive prices.”