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.

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.” 

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“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.