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December 2, 2019

PepsiCo swoops for PopCorners owner BFY Brands

PepsiCo, the US snacks behemoth behind brands including Lay's and Doritos, is to acquire a private-equity-owned business in its domestic market.

By Beth Wright

PepsiCo, the US snacks behemoth behind Lay’s and Doritos, is to acquire BFY Brands, home to the brand PopCorners.

The deal, announced for an undisclosed sum, will see PepsiCo “further deliver” on its “vision to offer consumers more positive nutritious options”.

Owned by private-equity firm Permira since 2015, BFY Brands has two manufacturing facilities in New York state. The company’s product portfolio includes snacks sold under PopCorners sub-brands such as Flex Protein Crisps and Flourish Veggie Crisps. Employing around 750 staff, BFY Brands is also a contract manufacturer of popped snacks.

“BFY Brands offers distinctive products that deliver the great taste and ingredients consumers are looking for,” Steven Williams, the CEO of PepsiCo’s North America foods business said. “Their production capabilities will support the growth of our existing, more-nutritious snack brands.”

In its own statement, BFY Brands said its manufacturing sites will remain in Middletown and Liberty, New York. BFY Brands said it “expects to continue its current expansion plans” under CEO Paul Nardone, as well as president and chief commercial officer Dan Morgan.

“Our goal has always been to bring innovative and delicious better-for-you snacking options to more consumers around the world, and joining the PepsiCo family will allow us to do just that,” Nardone said. “With the fastest growing brand among better-for-you salty snacks, we look forward to leveraging PepsiCo’s world-class resources and distribution platform for this next chapter.”

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The statement pointed to the “tremendous success” and “rapid growth” BFY Brands has seen since Permira acquired the business, pointing to, as examples, the doubling of staff from 350 and the expansion of sales of PopCorners.

Nardone added: “With the support of the Permira funds, we have transformed from our manufacturing heritage to become a leader in better-for-you snacking.”

Permira set up BFY Holdings in 2015 with the acquisition of Medora Snacks and Ideal Snacks Holding, two US companies focused on healthier products. Middletown-based Medora was the owner of brands including PopCorners popcorn and PopCrinkles, while Liberty-based Ideal Snacks Holding was a contract manufacturer. Permira bought the businesses from founder Zeke Alenick.

From the just-food archive in 2015: Interview – Permira’s plans for new US snacks assets

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