Yo! Sushi acquires Waitrose sushi supplier

Acquiring London-based Taiko Foods will lead to growth at both companies, Yo! Sushi says.

Sushi restaurant giant YO! Sushi has bought supermarket sushi supplier Taiko Foods as it aims to grow its to-go food sales.

YO! Sushi, best known for delivering sushi via conveyor belt from its restaurants, will acquire Taiko Foods who currently supply Waitrose, Pret a Manger and Costco.

YO! Sushi say the deal will help it deliver its plan to become a ‘multi-brand’ and ‘multi-format’ business. Taiko’s managing director, head of operations and finance director will remain at the company and the firm will continue to supply products under the Taiko brand. Yo! Sushi expect the deal to give them greater purchasing power, knowledge transfer and process efficiencies across the YO! group.

The deal is the second Yo! Sushi has made since it was bought up by private equity firm Mayfair Equity Partners in 2015; its first being the £59 million buyout of North American chain Bento Sushi in November last year.

Yo Sushi has 97 restaurants worldwide (81 owned and 16 franchised) while Taiko, founded in 1997, claims to have been the first business to supply UK supermarkets with sushi.

Richard Hodgson, chief executive officer of YO! Sushi, commented, ‘We are delighted to welcome Taiko and all their team to the YO! family. .. Taiko’s proposition and its management team’s strong track record make it the ideal partner for YO! as we look to further grow our business in the UK.’

Derek Lewis, managing director of Taiko Foods, added, ‘This partnership presents Taiko with an incredible opportunity to grow its business. YO! and Taiko share a similar ethos and history, and we look forward to working with the YO! team…’

Sushi has caught up with sandwiches and salads in recent years as the chilled sushi retail market hit £68 million a year in 2015, according to industry association Seafish. Waitrose says it has seen year-on-year growth in its sushi sales of around 13 per cent in 2015.

Michael Somerville

Michael Somerville

Michael was senior reporter for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2018 to 2019.

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