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February 24, 2021

Kar’s Nuts becomes Second Nature Brands as innovation, M&A set to drive growth

US snacks maker Kar's Nuts has rebranded under a new corporate identify as it seeks to accelerate growth through innovation.

By Dean Best

Private-equity backed US snacks maker Kar’s Nuts will now trade under a new corporate identify to reflect the composition of its better-for-you portfolio, which also includes Second Nature Snacks and Sanders Chocolates.

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Second Nature Brands will house all three of those brands as the business seeks to expand through innovation and potentially acquisitions. As part of that endeavour, the company has started work on building an innovation centre, which will be situated within Sanders Chocolates’ facility in Clinton Township, Michigan. 

CEO Victor Mehren said: “These businesses have grown significantly over the last several years and we see many opportunities for expanding our new platform both through brand innovation, strategic investments and acquisitions. Under the Second Nature Brands umbrella, our market-leading brands are positioned for accelerated growth.”

He continued with respect to innovation: “We are investing over 50% of our resources towards innovation, new product development and production infrastructure, which will significantly increase our capacity in the coming years. Even as we expect our core product lines to continue to grow, we are investing heavily in exciting new products and formulations, which we expect to account for a significant amount of revenues in the coming years.”

All three brands, which are sold in US retailers and via the company's direct-to-consumer channel, are engaged in the same product areas, nuts and trail mixes, which are gluten-free and non-GMO.

In 2017, Kar's Nuts attracted interest from New York-based private-equity firm Palladium Equity Partners, which remains an investor in the business today. The following year, KNPC Holdco of Detroit, then the owner of Kar's and Second Nature, instigated a merger with Morley Candy Makers, a manufacturer of confectionery products sold under the Sanders Fine Chocolate name.

just-food has asked the company for clarification on who are now the main shareholders in the business.

Second Nature Brands has a raft of innovation planned "designed to meet the ever-growing consumer trend for nutritionally-conscious snacking and permissible indulgence". They include Second Nature Smart Mixes; Sanders Organic Dairy-free Sea Salt Caramels; Sanders Sea Salt Caramel Thins; and a Kar's Snack Max line.

Meanwhile, the business has made a key appointment to its board. Edmond Sanctis, once the co-founder, CEO and chairman of Sahale Snacks before it was acquired by the J.M. Smucker Co. in 2014, has been appointed chairman of Second Nature Brands. 

Related Companies

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Innovation remains a necessity in a disruptive ecosystem, as continuous innovation allows companies to adapt, evolve, and grow through disruption. Using our in-house alternative datasets, we are excited to launch GlobalData’s Innovation Scorecard. This scorecard will allow clients to rank 3,500+ companies on their innovation activity, impact, and disruptive potential across geography, sector, and theme. The scorecard provides a data-driven framework to rank leading companies on the potential of their intellectual property (IP) portfolio. GlobalData’s Innovation Scorecard focuses not only on the activity of innovation in the organization but also on its impact and disruptive potential using the 3I framework: Intensity, Impact, and Ingenuity. The tool helps clients to identify the most innovative companies that are disruptive leaders and challengers and can create alpha for their portfolio using the insights driven by 19+ high-value KPIs. Download our report to find out more about this innovative tool. Key findings derived from this tool include:
  • Alphabet, Tencent, and Qualcomm are the top three innovative companies in the last 10 years
  • The scorecard finds Technology & Communications and Pharma & Healthcare as the two main sectors driving innovation
  • Loreal placed as ‘Disruptive Leader’ in the Consumer sector, while Revlon has been identified as a traditional laggard
  • Companies such as Etsy and H&M are challenging retail ‘Disruptive Leaders’ Amazon and Walmart
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