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A Cranswick logo and signage prominently displayed atop of a building


Cranswick PLC is a leading UK food producer that supplies products like fresh pork, chicken, and convenience foods to major supermarkets and food service providers.

In this article, we’ll look at Cranswick’s humble beginnings, its growth into a national supplier, and factors impacting its share price. You’ll learn about the company’s operations, products, financials, and executive leadership.

This background will help you make informed decisions if you’re considering investing in Cranswick stock.


What is the History of Cranswick Foods?

Cranswick was founded in the early 1970s by farmers in the Hull area of Yorkshire. The original company, Cranswick Mill, supplied animal feed to local farms.

In 1974, Cranswick branched into food production by acquiring Crown Chicken, a poultry processing company. This caused Cranswick to become a major fresh and processed poultry product supplier.

During the 1980s and 90s, Cranswick expanded its operations by acquiring various pork, bacon, and pastry companies. This enabled Cranswick to diversify its product range and increase its production capacity.

Some acquisitions during this period include:

  • Pioneer Foods - Added cooked poultry products in 1989
  • East Anglian Pig Company - Expanded pork processing in 1995
  • Yorkshire Bakerys - Allowed entry into pastry goods in 1999


In the 2000s, Cranswick continued growing rapidly organically and through company acquisitions. The company obtained pig farming operations to control more of its supply chain. It also acquired sandwich-maker Weightmans and continental foods producer Benson Park to increase its prepared foods business.

Today, Cranswick has 13 production facilities across Britain, along with pig farms and feed mills. The company produces over 180 food products and exports to 30 countries worldwide. It has established itself as a leading supplier to UK grocery retailers.


Who is the CEO of Cranswick?


An image of Adam Couch, CEO of Cranswick


Since August 2012, Adam Couch has served as Chief Executive Officer of Cranswick PLC. He succeeded founder Martin Davey, who led the company for over 30 years.

Couch joined Cranswick in 2007 as Commercial Director after holding various roles at Nestle UK. He was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2017 before assuming the CEO position three years later.

Under Couch’s leadership, Cranswick has achieved strong growth through the COVID-19 pandemic. He guided the implementation of rigorous safety measures that allowed Cranswick’s facilities to remain open. The company saw increased retail demand for its products that offset declines in food service.


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Cranswick Share Price Performance in 2023

The Cranswick share price has seen some volatility but overall growth in 2023. The company’s shares trade on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker CWK.

In January, the Cranswick share price opened at 3,328p and pulled back to close the month at 3,182p after reaching a high of 3,379p in February. The stock trended down in March, finishing at 3,004p. However, it rebounded and has been on an upward trajectory since April.


A three-dimensional blue bar graph featuring an ascending red arrow.


The Cranswick share price steadily climbed to 3,250p in May and 3,246p in June as the company reported full-year solid financial results. The stock surged to a 2023 high of 3,459.89p in July after Cranswick announced plans for a new poultry facility investment.

Cranswick share price dipped slightly to 3,370p in August but regained momentum in September, closing up at 3,552p. Cranswick’s stock continued rising through the fall, reaching yearly highs above 4,000p in November and December.

Several Factors That Have Driven Cranswick Share Price

  • Strong consumer demand for the company’s products buoyed by food inflation
  • Revenue growth across all business segments
  • Higher exports to new international markets
  • Strategic investments in production capacity
  • Ongoing recovery in the food service sector
  • Acquisition of premium cheesemaker Moore’s Family Dairy

Cranswick has also benefitted from its defensive market position as an affordable meat provider amidst economic uncertainty. The company’s diverse customer base and product portfolio make it resilient to consumer spending shifts.


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Who are Cranswick’s Competitors?

When evaluating Cranswick’s stock, comparing it with its leading competitors is helpful since it operates in the highly competitive UK food production industry.

Rivals to Cranswick Operations

Premier Foods - A consumer goods company making brands like Mr Kipling cakes and Ambrosia custard. Premier Foods has struggled with high debt levels but is working to improve performance.

Hilton Food Group - Specializes in meat packing for major retailers across Europe. Like Cranswick, Hilton supplies leading UK supermarkets.

2 Sisters Food Group - The second largest food company in the UK after Cranswick. 2 Sisters produces poultry, ready meals, and other proteins.

Cargill - A diversified global corporation with substantial meat processing operations. Offers a wide range of agricultural products and services.

Karro Food Group - A pork processor acquired by CapVest Partners in 2014. Karro is a significant supplier to food retailers and food service chains.

How does Cranswick Stack Up to These Competitors?

  • Cranswick has outperformed many rivals in revenue, profitability, and market share growth over the past decade.
  • The company has a broader product range and greater vertical integration than many competitors.
  • Cranswick’s focus on quality, service, and innovation strengthens its retail relationships.
  • The company’s diverse customer base provides resilience against market volatility.
  • The Cranswick share price has trended upward for many years, reflecting its strong performance.


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Is Cranswick a Buy?

Cranswick has established itself as a leading player in the UK food production industry. The company has posted impressive revenue and profit growth in recent years, even amid challenging market conditions.

Cranswick’s diverse product portfolio, extensive customer base, and proactive investments position it well for continued success.

Whether to buy or not depends on risk appetite and trading knowledge. The company’s strong performance and defensive traits make it tempting to consider as a buy. However, as with any investment, it is essential to conduct thorough research into the risks and weigh these against your goals.

The UK food sector faces uncertainty from inflation, consumer spending shifts, and competitive forces. Ensure you fully understand Cranswick’s financials and operations before making investment decisions.


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“When considering “CFDs” for trading and price predictions, remember that trading CFDs involves a significant risk and could result in capital loss. Past performance is not indicative of any future results. This information is provided for informative purposes only and should not be considered investment advice.”

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