Acquisitive US food group B&G Foods has snapped up local firm Rickland Orchards, a manufacturer of snacks and bars coated in Greek yoghurt.

B&G said yesterday (7 October) it had paid around US$57.7m in cash and shares for the business from Natural Instincts LLC, which only launched the Rickland Orchards brand last year. Since the brand went on sale last March, it has achieved annualised net sales of over US$50m, B&G said.

The deal sees B&G pay around $37.4m in cash and the rest with its shares. Rickland Orchards founder and CEO Jason Cohen will join B&G as executive vice president of its business to supply club stores. Rickland Orchards COO Michael Sands will become vice president of product innovation at B&G.

Both men are industry veterans; Cohen co-founded biscotti company Mamma Says that was sold to Nonni’s Food Co. in 2005. He then was behind the company World Gourmet, which had a flagship brand, Sensible Portions snacks, that was sold to Hain Celestial in 2010.

Sands’ career includes stints at Snapple and Ben & Jerry’s. He was also CEO of Balance Bar Co.

David Wenner, B&G’s president and CEO, said: “Jason and Michael have a strong history of developing, marketing and building brands, especially in the club channel. Under their leadership the Rickland Orchards brand, which was launched in March 2012, has already achieved annualised net sales exceeding $50m, with a strong presence across the club, retail, mass and convenience channels.”

The deal is the third B&G has made in the last 12 months. In June, the company snappped up US snack firm Pirate Brands for $195m. A month earlier, it bought nut brand TrueNorth from confectioner DeMet’s Candy Co.

Last October, B&G completed the deal signed a month earlier to buy the New York Style and Old London brands from Chipita America in an all-cash deal worth around $62.5m.