Mondelez International believes newly-acquired US free-from snacks business Enjoy Life Foods can enjoy international expansion under its ownership.

The global snacks giant has paid an undisclosed sum for a business manufacturing allergen-free products including biscuits, chocolate and snack bars.

Enjoy Life, set up in 2001, generated turnover of US$40m in 2014, the bulk of which is generated in the US, with some business in Canada and a small export presence in markets including Mexico and South Africa.

Mondelez told just-food the deal “provides attractive financial opportunities with limited investment”.

“There are opportunities to expand penetration, distribution, improve marketing and packaging. In addition, the brand has limited international exposure today but there’s good potential to expand internationally. Finally, there are opportunities to optimise manufacturing and procurement with minimal capital investment.”

In an extended interview with just-food, Early Life chief sales and marketing officer Joel Warady – who is staying with the business – said Mondelez’s backing meant it could further build its brand awareness in the US, extend its presence into more retail channels domestically and seek to meet more enquiries from overseas.

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Enjoy Life, which Warady said has seen sales grow 40% a year for the past three years, sells over 40 products across biscuits, chocolate, snack bars, and savoury snacks, free from the eight most common allergens – wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shellfish. Warady insisted Enjoy Life did not comment on its earnings but said last year was its “most profitable”.

Mondelez said the deal “builds on our strategy to expand our snacking portfolio into faster growing, on-trend, better-for-you areas”

“It’s an excellent platform for us to reach an expanding base of healthy-lifestyle consumers in the US and beyond,” the company added.

Click here for an in-depth interview with Enjoy Life chief sales and marketing officer Joel Warady on why the company was looking for a “partner”, what Mondelez’s ownership means for the business and the fledgling firm’s growth ambitions.