Metcalfe's Food Company

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Metcalfe's Skinny
Industry Retail
Founded 2010
Headquarters London, England
Products Snack foods

Metcalfe’s Food Company was a privately owned food business set up in 2010 by Julian Metcalfe, the founder of the sandwich chain Pret A Manger and Robert Jakobi. Metcalfe’s Food Company sold products under two brands Metcalfe's Skinny and itsu grocery.[1]

The company enjoyed a compound annual growth rate of over 200% in revenues between 2011 and 2014.[2] In February 2014 the company had forecast to achieve £50 Million in sales within the next 3 years.[3] As of December 2014, Metcalfe's Food Company were the fastest-growing, privately-owned food and drink company in the UK.[4]

Key people[edit]

Robert Jakobi was the Co-Owner and Managing Director of Metcalfe’s Food Company. He played a key role in the evolution of the business.[1] Previously, an investment banker, Jakobi introduced chocolate covered edamame to the UK market in 2010 and sold them initially under his own ‘Pod bites’ brand in high-end stores such as Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.[5] Convinced they had a lively commercial future, he sought a bigger platform for the product and after meeting Julian Metcalfe agreed to merge ‘Pod bites’ into Metcalfe’s Food Company and become the Managing Director in October 2010.[1] The chocolate covered edamame are still one of the key products in the itsu [grocery] range.[6]


In May 2015 the company announced it would split the two brands into two.[4] itsu grocery would become a core part of the Itsu business and Metcalfes Skinny would become a standalone business. .[4]

Metcalfe’s skinny[edit]

In January 2016 Diamond Foods acquired a minority stake in Metcalfe’s Skinny.[7] The investment helped to maximise the growth potential of the brand in the UK and Europe.[8]

In September 2016 the new owner of Kettle Foods Snyder's-Lance, Inc. acquired the remainder of the business.[9]


In December 2013, Metcalfe's Food Company were featured as one of ten ‘Ones to Watch’ in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100.[10] The Fast Track 100 ranks the fastest growing privately owned companies in the UK.[11]

In April 2014, Robert Jakobi along with Julian Metcalfe were named as London & South finalists for the 2014 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.[12] The award is considered one of the world’s most prestigious business awards and is held in more than 145 cities and in more than 60 countries worldwide.[13]

In May 2014, Metcalfe’s Food Company were announced as one of the winners of The Santander Breakthrough 50 Awards. The awards celebrate the UK’s top 50 most exciting fast-growth companies.[14]

In December 2014, Metcalfe’s Food Company were ranked at number 4 in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100.[15]


  1. ^ a b c "Itsu founder nurtures a new generation". The Financial Times. 2014-01-21. Retrieved 2014-09-01. 
  2. ^ "Fast Track 100". Fast Track 100. Retrieved 2017-06-08. 
  3. ^ "Popcorn maker tastes explosive growth". The Telegraph. 2014-02-24. Retrieved 2014-09-01. 
  4. ^ a b c "Metcalfe's is the fastest growing private food and drink firm". Food Manufacture. 2014-12-08. Retrieved 2017-06-08. 
  5. ^ "Cinema-goers snap up snack beans". The Evening Standard. 2010-03-18. Retrieved 2017-06-08. 
  6. ^ "Robert Jakobi MD of Metcalfe's Food talks to The Startup Magazine". The Startup Magazine. Retrieved 2017-06-08. 
  7. ^ "Diamond Foods Announces Acquisition of a Minority Interest in Metcalfe's skinny Ltd". CNN Money. 2016-01-11. Retrieved 2017-06-08. [permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Snacking Greats Metcalfe's Skinny and KETTLE Chips Join Forces In Partnership Deal". Yahoo Finance. 2016-01-11. Retrieved 2017-06-08. 
  9. ^ "Snyder's-Lance, Inc. Acquires Remaining Interest in Metcalfe's skinny Limited". Yahoo Finance. 2016-09-01. Retrieved 2017-06-08. 
  10. ^ "Fast Tracks Ones to Watch". Fast Track. Archived from the original on 22 March 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-08. 
  11. ^ "Fast Track 100". Fast Track 100. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 2017-06-08. 
  12. ^ "Dynamic London and South entrepreneurs create 24,000 jobs and turn over £4.6 million". Ernst & Young. 2014-04-24. Retrieved 2017-06-08. 
  13. ^ "EY Entrepreneur of the Year". Ernst & Young. Retrieved 2017-06-08. 
  14. ^ "Metcalfe's Food Company Breakthrough 50 Awards". Breakthrough 50. Archived from the original on 2014-08-13. Retrieved 2017-06-08. 
  15. ^ "Fast Track 100". Fast Track 100. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-08.