Biena gets more funding

Biena gets more funding

US snacks firm Biena Foods has attracted fresh investment, this time from an investment firm set up by former executives at Snyder's-Lance, the snacks major acquired by Campbell Soup Co. 18 months ago.

MAW Investments has led a Series B round of financing in the chickpea snack maker worth US$8m. The investment comes two years after the founders of Spanx and the jet card service Marquis Jet were among those to back Biena, a business set up in 2012.

"Biena has been a progressive player in natural snacking since day one, getting ahead of the plant-based trend with their roasted chickpeas, while shaking up the market with their reinvented cheese puff," Peter Michaud of MAW Investments. "We have grown some of the top snack brands in the country, so supporting Biena – a leader in plant-based snacks with a strong growth trajectory – was an opportunity we couldn't miss."

Michaud, who will join the Biena board, led the sales and marketing Snyder's-Lance's "better-for-you" snacks, including brands such as Pretzel Crisps and Late July Organic Snacks.

MAW was set up by the late Michael Warehime, the former chairman, president and chief executive of US snacks company Snyder's of Hanover. He became chairman of Snyder's-Lance when Snyder's of Handover merged with US peer Lance in 2010. Warehime died in 2014. The private-equity firm is now run by his wife Patricia.

Last year, the firm acquired US salty snacks maker G&S Foods.

"We're thrilled to bring Peter and the team at MAW on board. They have an impressive track record of building category-leading snack brands," Biena founder Poorvi Patodia said. "Our goal is to make it easy for Americans to snack healthier by creating the next generation of nutritious, plant-based snacks. MAW's category expertise will be invaluable as we build on our growth momentum as a brand."