Palladium Equity Partners has taken a “significant stake” in California-based Hispanic foods producer Del Real Foods to support the firm’s expansion plans including investment in new product categories and boosting distribution.

Del Real produces a variety of heat-and-serve products including “value-added proteins” such as carnitas and barbacoa, rice and bean dishes, and staples such as tamales and salsas. The company, founded in 2002, said its products are made “using natural ingredients without preservatives, and in small batches that mimic traditional cooking methods”. 

Palladium said Del Real “has built a trusted, authentic brand within the large and growing Hispanic foods category”. It said Del Real’s products are primarily sold in the western parts of the US, where its customers include large club stores, supermarkets and national restaurant chains.

The private-equity firm is looking to extend Del Real’s reach into new geographies, broaden its distribution channels and “enter complementary new product categories”.

Palladium managing director Luis Zaldivar said: “We believe that Del Real is poised to benefit from several macro trends that are dramatically reshaping consumer food choices. We first met the founders of Del Real over a decade ago and have followed the company as it established a strong brand and reputation for quality and authenticity. My colleagues and I see a significant potential growth opportunity across products, channels and geographies.”

Previous investments by Palladium have included Teasdale Foods, a producer of bean and hominy products, which was acquired by New York-based private-equity firm Snow Phipps Group in 2014.

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