Boston private equity firm TA Associates has invested in snack brand SkinnyPop Popcorn LLC.

SkinnyPop, headquartered in Skokie, Illinois, makes popcorn products. The company was founded in 2010 with the goal of making a better-for-you alternative to traditional movie theater-style microwave and bagged popcorn products. The company's snacks are non-GMO, peanut free, tree nut free, dairy free and gluten free, and are sold through the club, grocery, drug, mass and convenience store channels. 

As part of the investment, former Oberto Brands CEO Tom Ennis will join SkinnyPop's executive team as CEO. Oberto makes all-natural beef jerkey.

TA recently sold a stake in Answers Corp., the parent company of, in a deal announced earlier in August. Before that, in May, the firm bought a majority stake in Bomgar, a software company. 

Goodwin Procter LLP was TA's legal counsel. Houlihan Lokey was SkinnyPop's financial adviser on the deal, while Much Shelist PC provided legal advice.

As consumer eating habits have shifted away in a healthier direction, companies have been looking to buy or start offering better-for-you snack options. Recent examples of those transactions include TreeHouse Foods' acquisition of Flagstone Foods in June, and and B&G Foods Inc.'s (NYSE: BGS) deal for granola bar maker Rickland Orchards LLC in October. For more on the trend, see "Snack Time." 

For more on changing consumer habits, see Mergers & Acquisitions' September cover story, "Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements Feed Consumers and Deals." 

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