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July 9, 2020

Sonoma Brands adds to jerky portfolio with Chef’s Cut acquisition

US-based private-equity firm Sonoma Brands has added to its meat snacks portfolio with the acquisition of a local jerky manufacturer for an undisclosed sum. 

By Leonie Barrie

US-based private-equity firm Sonoma Brands has added to its meat snacks portfolio with the acquisition of local business Chef’s Cut Real Jerky Co. for an undisclosed sum. 

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The move comes two months after California-based Sonoma announced the purchase of the Krave jerky business from Hershey.

That deal saw Sonoma founder and managing partner Jon Sebastiani, buy back Krave, a business he set up in 2009 before selling it to the US confectionery giant in 2015.

New York-based Chef’s Cut was founded in 2009 and has a roster of products including jerky, meat sticks and biltong.

Kevin Murphy, managing director of Sonoma, will lead the combined jerky entity as interim CEO. He said: “Our goal is to re-energise the premium segment of the meat snacks category.

“Through a focus on product quality and innovation supported by impactful marketing and a thoughtful promotional strategy, we are committed to driving incremental growth for our retail partners while delivering a great product and experience to consumers.”

Rusti Porter, chief marketing officer of Krave, said: “It is our belief that Chef’s Cut and Krave are complementary brands that engage with different consumers, both the traditional jerky shopper as well as the health and fitness-minded millennial who seeks artisanal flavors and quality ingredients.”

Bart Adlam, formerly CEO of Chef’s Cut, added: “Jon [Sebastiani] is a true brand builder who has been at the forefront of this category for years and we are excited to have Chef’s Cut join Sonoma Brands for this next chapter.” 

Founded in 2016, Sonoma has developed and incubated brands in the food and beverage area, including Smashmallow marshmallows. It has also made investments in consumer brands including Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar, Hum Nutrition vitamins and supplements and Beekeeper’s Naturals health solutions.

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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:
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