Ice cream maker scoops up two acquisitions, adding £2m to turnover

Credit: Lorne Campbell/Guzelian

Leeds-based ice cream business Northern Bloc is gearing up for further growth.

As well as moving into new, purposely modified premises, the company has also acquired two artisan ice cream businesses, delivering an additional turnover of over £2m.

The acquisition of Criterion Ices and Marine Ices, along with the increase in production capacity from the new factory, will enable Northern Bloc to expand into new channels and territories.

After signing the lease this summer, Northern Bloc’s new 30,000 sq ft premises is now fully operational. Ten more jobs have been created as a result of the move.

The factory has been modified to accommodate ice cream production to BRC standards. Three production lines are supported by sustainable manufacturing innovations including: purpose built, energy efficient chilling systems, LED lighting and a heat recovery system, which delivers a 40% energy saving.

The factory is also in the process of installing solar panels, which will eventually deliver 70% of its power.

Criterion Ices and Marine Ices are two south east-based heritage brands which manufacture dairy ice cream using traditional methods.

Credit: Lorne Campbell/Guzelian

Criterion is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of theatre goers across the UK, identified by its striking, larger than usual tub, and is also found in restaurants. Marine Ices can be found in scooping parlours across the south of England.

Dirk Mischendahl, co-founder and director at Northern Bloc, said: “We’re now set up to compete in this challenging environment and deliver the volumes we need to, while staying true to our values and, importantly, our Leeds roots.

“The acquisitions not only open new channels for Northern Bloc as a business, but their infrastructures also give us a dedicated distribution site in London, which we’re currently equipping to be able to support our new Leeds HQ.

“The acquisition of two well-established, heritage brands in dairy ice cream will allow us to continue to explore and innovate and develop Northern Bloc’s product offer, something which we’ve always been passionate about.

“In time, we’ll work with Criterion and Marine to showcase their heritage and quality, while mirroring the sustainable manufacturing processes of Northern Bloc.”