Plant-based foods business is looking to enter new high-growth categories and bring manufacturing processes in-house via acquisitions 
Deliciously Ella was founded in 2012 by Ella Mills as a lifestyle brand, it has accrued a total social media following of over 3 million followers across multiple Source: Deliciously Ella Instagram

Plant-based wellness and food business Deliciously Ella is looking at possible M&A opportunities to enter new fmcg categories and streamline its manufacturing efforts, CEO Matthew Mills said during a webinar last week, hosted by independent business bank OakNorth. 

Mills said the almost 10-year old business was seeking to enter “high-growth categories” that it didn’t currently operate in. 

The CEO said Deliciously Ella was also looking at bringing some of its manufacturing efforts in-house to reduce costs. 

“We could be investing in better efficiencies and the ability to produce our products at a cheaper rate. We would look at some kind of vertical integration through some brands that would be adjacent to ours and could be complimentary,” he said during the webinar. 

The company had previously been in discussions to acquire an un-named business after it bought out its Deliciously Ella shareholders in 2021 using a loan it was provided by OakNorth.

However, Mills said the deal fell through due to “reasons outside of our control”. On future M&A, he said the company would like to access additional capital if it were to carry out an acquisition. 

He also said any company the firm invested in would have to be already turning a profit. 

“One of the things we have earned pretty quickly is it is so much more difficult to turn a loss-making business into making a profit unless you have incredibly high gross margins,” Mills said. 

Deliciously Ella’s business is built on three main revenue channels including its FMCG food products, its recipe and lifestyle mobile app and its plant-based restaurant in London. 

The venue was opened in 2021, a year after the company closed its deli store in the same spot. 

During the OakNorth session, both the CEO, and founder Ella Mills, revealed the brand’s products would be launched in Austria and Germany in coming weeks.

Deliciously Ella products have been only available in the UK and Switzerland up to now, but plans to expand into the US later this year are also in motion. 

Date published: 11 April 2022

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