Weetabix Limited

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Weetabix Ltd
TypePrivate company
IndustryBreakfast cereal
HeadquartersBurton Latimer, Northamptonshire, UK
Area served
Europe, North America
Key people
CEO: Sally Abbott
Chairman: Giles Turrel
ProductsWeetabix, Alpen, Ready Brek, Puffins
OwnerPost Holdings
Number of employees
c. 2,000

Weetabix Ltd., trading under the name Weetabix Food Company and commonly referred to as simply Weetabix, is a food processing company that is responsible for the production of breakfast cereal brands, including Weetabix, Alpen, and Ready Brek. The company also produces Puffins cereal and Snackimals snacks through their Barbara's Bakery division.


See History of Weet-Bix

The food product was originally invented in Australia in the 1920s by Bennison Osborne. Osborne and his friend Malcolm MacFarlane successfully launched Weet-Bix in Australia and New Zealand under the sponsorship of the owner of Grain Products Ltd., who soon sold the Australasian rights to the Australasian Conference Association Limited Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Company. Osborne and MacFarlane decided to expand into South Africa and while there, they began the establishment of the British & African Cereal Company, Ltd., a Private Company, to start a venture in England under the Companies, Act,1929, (Company No. 267687), where they became joint Managing Directors until MacFarlane left the Company in 1932/1933, after which Osborne became the sole managing director until 1936, when he left the Company for the United States of America. The first Directors of the Company were Bennison Osborne, Malcolm MacFarlane, Alfred Richard Upton and Arthur Stanley Scrutton. Frank George, who had offered them the use of a disused flour mill in Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire, subsequently requested and was granted shares in the Company and was offered a place on the Board.

The company holds a Royal Warrant from Queen Elizabeth II.

For the purpose of differentiating between the various countries, it was decided that the product, when introduced into the United Kingdom, should be known as "Weetabix". On 13 August 1936, with the approval of the Board of Trade, the Company name was changed to Weetabix Limited .

Alpen was invented in 1971, when a company executive was on holiday in Switzerland and tasted a local delicacy.[1]

In November 2003, the company was bought from Weetabix Limited, by the American private equity firm HM Capital of Dallas.[citation needed] From 29 January 2004, it was owned by Lion Capital LLP,[citation needed] until 3 May 2012 when the Chinese company Bright Food bought a 60% controlling stake, valuing the company at £1.2bn ($1.9bn).[2]

In 2012 the company was bought by the Chinese Government through the state-run Bright Food, and the equity firm Baring Private Equity Asia, with Bright Food having the controlling interest.[3][4]

In July 2017, the American company Post Holdings bought the company for £1.4 billion.[5]

The company does not have the rights to the product in Australia, New Zealand or South Africa. In these countries, the brand is still known as Weet-Bix and is still made by Sanitarium Health Food Company in Australia and New Zealand and Bokomo in South Africa.


It has won three Queen's Awards for Export, lastly in 2004.

Company structure[edit]

The company is headquartered in Burton Latimer, Kettering, Northamptonshire, England, and its 75-acre (30 ha) site is next to the A14 junction with the A6. It also has factories in Corby and Ashton-under-Lyne. The company produces 3 billion Weetabix breakfast biscuits every year from its Kettering site.

Weetabix is also one of the major manufacturers of generic cereals for the major supermarkets.

Weetabix has factories in Europe, East Africa and North America. It is the largest producer of breakfast cereals in the UK. It exports to eighty countries. As of 2012 it employed around 2000 people.[6]



Barbara's Bakery[edit]

The California-based natural-foods company was purchased by Weetabix in 1986, eventually moving operations to Marlborough, Massachusetts. They are particularly well known for their Puffins Cereal, whose box features a puffin defying the laws of gravity by standing sideways relative to a photo of cereal. [7][8]

In 2019-2020 the packaging for Barbara's Bakery cereals was revamped [9] [10] [11] , and on the new packaging all references to "The Weetabix Company, Inc." have been replaced with references to "Three Sisters Cereal".

Crunchy Bran[edit]


Sold primarily in the North American market, the GrainShop brand has two cereals, High Fibre Crisp and Honey Almond Crunch. High Fibre Crisp is a blend of four grains, wheat and corn, bran and oats, while Honey Almond Crunch is a combination of crunchy oats, flakes, almonds and honey.[12]


Products in the Oatibix range are made from oats, as opposed to the company's preference to wheat-based food. The original Oatibix cereal is physically very similar to the company's flagship Weetabix but made of whole grain oats. Oatibix Bitesize is a variant of Oatibix with smaller biscuits and is available as Oatibix Bitesize Sultana & Apple or Oatibix Bitesize Chocolate & Raisin in addition to the original flavour.[13]

Oatibix Flakes[edit]

Ready Brek[edit]

Ready Brek is an oat-based breakfast cereal that is intended to be served hot, and comes in three varieties; 'Original', 'Chocolate' and 'Seriously Oaty'. A butterscotch flavour was marketed during the 1970s.


Weetabix is a whole grain wheat breakfast cereal that comes in the form of palm-sized biscuits. It is Weetabix Food Company's flagship product, introduced in 1932 and is officially the top-selling breakfast cereal in the United Kingdom, accounting for 8% of the country's total cereal sales. The cereal, which is manufactured in facilities in Kettering, England and Canada, is exported to 80 countries and has annual sales worth over £95 million.[14]

Weetabix Bitesize is essentially a smaller "bite-sized" version of Weetabix that can be easily poured into a bowl, more like a traditional breakfast cereal. Weetabix Minis are sweeter variant of the Weetabix Bitesize, with various additions depending upon the variety; Chocolate Crisp, Banana Crisp, Fruit & Nut Crisp, and Honey & Nut Crisp. Outside of the UK, Weetabix Minis has been re-launched and renamed at least twice in a relatively short period of time following their launch. Previously, they were known as Fruitibix, Bananabix, and Chocobix (depending upon the additions), then as Minibix.




Weetabix was the title sponsor of the Women's British Open between 1987 and 2006. It also sponsors Northamptonshire Police.[15] It was one of the sponsors of the World Cup in Argentina in 1978.


  1. ^ "Our Story". Alpen. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Weetabix bought by China's Bright Food". BBC. 3 May 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  3. ^ "Bright Food Targets Listing Cereal-Maker Weetabix by 2016". Bloomberg News.
  4. ^ Waldmeir, Patti (3 May 2012). "China's Bright Food swallows Weetabix". Financial Times.
  5. ^ "Weetabix to be sold to US company Post Holdings". BBC News. 18 April 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  6. ^ Financial Times 22 April, 2012 5:23 pm Lion Capital explores Weetabix sale
  7. ^ "Barbara's to leave Petaluma". 20 January 2012.
  8. ^ "Barbara's Celebrates 45 Years – Natural & Organic – Gourmet Retailer Magazine – Gourmet Retailers – Specialty Retail – Specialty Food News and Research".
  9. ^ "Three Sisters Debuts New Look for Barbara's Cereal Portfolio, New Mom's Best Granola Line". 5 March 2019. Archived from the original on 13 February 2020.
  10. ^ "Barbara's Unveils Redesigned Packaging". 27 January 2020. Archived from the original on 13 February 2020.
  11. ^ "Barbara's overhauls packaging to bring 'fun' & 'vibrancy' to the natural cereal aisle". 27 January 2020. Archived from the original on 13 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Weetabix Products". Weetabix Ltd. Retrieved 27 June 2009.
  13. ^ "The Weetabix Food Company – Oatibix". Weetabix Ltd. Retrieved 27 June 2009.
  14. ^ "Weetabix Food Company – About Us". Weetabix Ltd. Retrieved 27 June 2009.
  15. ^ "Police given new mobile station". BBC. 9 February 2004.

External links[edit]

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