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May 6, 2020

Sauer Brands taps into popcorn seasonings with Chicago Custom Foods acquisition

US condiments and spices business Sauer Brands has acquired a local peer, which gives it ownership of a well-known popcorn seasonings brand.

By Leonie Barrie

US condiments, seasonings and spices maker Sauer Brands has acquired local peer Chicago Custom Foods (CCF), which gives it ownership of the Kernel Season’s popcorn flavourings brand.

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Sauer has bought CCF from middle market private investment firm Highlander Partners which acquired it in January 2018.

The deal, for an undisclosed amount, sees Richmond, Virginia-based Sauer, which owns brands including Duke’s Mayonnaise and Spice Hunter, expand its flavourings portfolio. As well as Kernel Season’s CCF’s product line up also includes Tasty Shakes oatmeal mix-ins and Veggie Season’s vegetable seasonings. A new “premium” popcorn seasoning, Truffle Season’s, is set for introduction later this year.

Sauer Brands is a portfolio company of Charlotte, North Carolina-based private equity firm Falfurrias Capital Partners, which will operate CCF as a separate business unit under the leadership of Jason Roy, CCF’s current CEO and a 17-year veteran of the company. Roy will report to Sauer Brands CEO Martin Kelly. 

Bill Lovette, executive chairman of Sauer Brands, said: “CCF has done a tremendous job growing the Kernel Season’s brand, creating a culture of innovation and leveraging an impressive degree of merchandising savvy that we can learn from.” 

“We are excited about adding another strong brand to our line up and partnering with Jason and his team to grow the business through supply chain efficiencies and other synergies.”  

CCF’s Roy said: “We are excited about joining the Sauer Brands family and look forward to working with Bill and Martin to accelerate growth for all of our brands.”  

CCF’s products are sold through more than 30,000 distribution points in the US and internationally, including retail outlets and cinemas.

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What’s missing from your IPO industry assessment?

IPO activity all but stopped in 2020, as the investment community grew wary of the effects of COVID-19 on economies. No matter how deserving a business was of flotation, momentum was halted by concerns of when a ‘new normal’ of working patterns and trade would set in. Recently, sentiment has changed. Flotations picked up again during the second half of 2021, and now in 2022 the mood is decidedly optimistic. Business leaders have their eyes on fast rebounding economies, buoyant market indices and the opportunity once again to take their businesses public. As a result, global IPOs are expected to hit back this year. With GlobalData’s new whitepaper, ‘IPOs in Consumer and Retail: 5 must-include elements for your prospectus industry report’, you can explore exactly what is needed in the essential literature. GlobalData’s focus lies in the critical areas to get right:
  • Macroeconomic and demographic environment
  • Consumer context
  • Industry environment
  • Competitive environment
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by GlobalData
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