US private-equity firm Clearlake Capital Group and Halen Brands – a fund run by industry executives Jason Cohen and Leigh Feuerstein – are to join forces with a new platform to invest in “emerging” trends in food.
Better For You Holdings is eyeing investments in “on-trend, growth-oriented opportunities in food and other consumer products”, Clearlake’s Arta Tababee said.
The establishment of Better For You Holdings is the latest partnership between Clearlake, Cohen and Feuerstein.
Clearlake and the two executives were investors in US snack maker World Gourmet Marketing, the company behind the Sensible Portions snacks brand that was sold to Hain Celestial in 2010. Cohen co-founded the Sensible Portions brand.
Last year, Clearlake worked with Halen Brands to invest in US jerky maker Chef’s Cut and then to buy gluten-free snack firm Rex’s Outrageous.
“With the early investments in Chef’s Cut and Road Crew Crunch, we’re already seeing the value that the Halen Brands platform provides in helping brands accelerate growth,” Tababee said.
Cohen has co-created and sold five food brands. As well as Sensible Portion, Cohen co-founded Mamma Says, which was sold to Nonni’s Food Co. in 2005 and US snack maker Rickland Orchards, which B&G Foods snapped up in 2013. Cohen was also behind the establishment of Dippin’ Chips and Mrs. Thinster’s Cookie Thins.
In a joint statement, Cohen and Feuerstein said: “As founders of food brands ourselves, we were always looking for a fund that was built to marry an entrepreneurial spirit with a patient, collaborative approach and have founded Halen on those principles. Together with Clearlake, our track record and relationships give us an edge in identifying and supporting high-potential brands and concepts, and we pride ourselves on providing the support and historical track record needed to succeed.”