Sam Mitchell and Tony Lee formed the Brand Partnership in 1991 with £150,000 of bank loans after spotting the market potential of savoury rice and pasta products. Brand Partnership now manufactures its own brands, including Rice Choice, Snack Pasta and Pasta Time, and also makes products for sale under the supermarkets’ own labels. Profits at the Leeds-based company have risen by 39% pa, from £1.1m in 1996 to £3.1m in 1999 on sales growth of 16% pa in the same period to £17m. Sam Mitchell attributes the profit growth to economies of scale provided by expansion. Stable raw materials prices in recent years have helped tame costs imposed by UK and EU food labelling and safety laws. And the company has invested heavily in flexible production lines which allow it to respond quickly to the changing needs of its supermarket clients.
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