J.M. Smucker Adds to Healthy-Eating Trend, Devours Sahale Snacks

The M&A trend toward healthier snack companies - also evidenced by acquisitions of Flagstone Foods and SnackWell's reduced-fat snack division - is driven by consumers' shifting eating habits

J.M Smucker Co. (NYSE: SJM) is buying Sahale Snacks Inc. from private equity firm Palladium Equity Partners LLC.

Seattle, Washington-based Sahale manufactures and markets nut and fruit snacks sold under the Sahale Snacks brand. The company is expecting to reach $50 million in net sales for 2014. Smucker is picking up Sahale's leased facility in Seattle and the company's 150 employees through the deal.

“The addition of the Sahale Snacks premium lifestyle brand, and its portfolio of innovative and on-trend products, provides an established platform for growth in the snacking space," says Paul Smucker Wagstaff, president of U.S. Retail Consumer Foods for Smucker.

Smucker, headquartered in Orrville, Ohio, is known for making fruit spreads, and also makes packaged coffee, peanut butter, shortening and oils, ice cream toppings, condensed milk and other food products. The company sells products under the Smucker's, Folgers, Dunkin' Donuts, Jif, Crisco, Pillsbury, Eagle Brand and other brands.

Sahale is being sold by Palladium, a New York-based PE firm that invested in the brand in 2007. Palladium has sold other snack companies – including Wise Foods Inc. to Arca Continental SAB de CV in December 2012. Earlier this week, the firm announced the sale of Abra Auto Body & Glass to Hellman & Friedman

The food sector has moved increasingly towards better-for-you snack acquisitions as consumer eating habits shift. Recent food deals include TreeHouse Foods' purchase of Flagstone Foods, which makes private-label healthy snacks, and Back to Nature Foods Co. LLC's acquisition of SnackWell's reduced-fat cookies and snacks business


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