Canadian gluten-free food manufacturer Sweets From The Earth has acquired domestic biscotti maker Tutti Gourmet to increase its foothold in the “ambient long-shelf-life market”.

Sweets From The Earth said it bought the Quebec-based biscotti manufacturer to “meet the growing demand for gluten-free and sugar-free options”.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, includes all Tutti assets. All operations will be integrated into Sweets From The Earth’s Toronto bakery, it said. The company would not comment on potential resulting job losses.

It follows Sweets From The Earth’s acquisition of Shockingly Healthy in 2021 – vice president Marc Kadonoff told Just Food its M&A strategy has been “opportunistic”, taking opportunities “where they make sense”.

Sweets From The Earth, headquartered in Ontario, specialises in “niche” free-from markets with products lines including cakes, muffins and bread. All products are gluten free and plant based. It exports to the US, the Middle East, the UK, Mexico and the Philippines. 

Tutti Gourmet produces gluten-free baked goods sold in Canada, the US, Europe and the UK. Approximately 50% of its portfolio is also sugar-free.

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As part of the takeover, Sweets From The Earth has converted all Tutti products to plant-based recipes and certified them Kosher and Halal.

Its keto line was also “reformulated”, Kadonoff said, “to remove ingredients that did not adhere to our company standards and overall core values”. He added: “Taste and texture was also improved in the reformulation with a focus on sugar-free, rather than keto.”

The acquisition expands Sweets From The Earth’s minor shelf-stable portfolio. Around 97% of the company’s portfolio is distributed through the frozen channel. Kadonoff said Tutti Gourmet will give it “a foothold in the ambient long shelf-life market while still specialising in the niche markets we are known for”.

Sweets From The Earth said it plans to launch “many more” long-shelf-life products through its brands, which include its namesake products, as well as lines sold under the brands Treats from the Earth and Kool for School.

On its growth strategy, Kadonoff added: “Our acquisition strategy to date has been opportunistic. Our goal is to grow organically and supplement with acquisitions where they make sense for the overall business. In 2022, our organic five-year growth rate was 107%.”

Tutti Gourmet is sold 100% through retail but Sweets From The Earth plans to sell the brand through its D2C website and foodservice channels.

Meanwhile, Mondelez International announced this week it is closing a bakery that produces gluten-free brand Enjoy Life Foods. It said it will “narrow and refocus” its portfolio following a “significant increase” in free-from-snacking options from other companies.

Low-sugar breakfast cereal brand Catalina Crunch told Just Food consumer trends are veering towards “food items that can help people manage their everyday health”. The start-up is focusing its NPD on areas like gut health and “food as medicine”, according to president Joel Warady.