Olde Thompson moves to become largest private brand spice company

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Olde Thompson, a private label and branded spices and seasonings company, has acquired Gel Spice, an importer and manufacturer of spices, seasonings and bakery ingredients for retail and foodservice, bolstering Olde Thompson’s footprint in the spice category.

The company says it’s now the largest private label spice company.

Gel Spice is a family-owned company in Bayonne, N.J., so the acquisition steps up Oxnard, Calif.-based Olde Thompson as a bi-coastal manufacturer, unlocking a new channel in foodservice and expanding the company’s product offering into pouches, extracts and single-serve seasonings for meal kits and more. 

Olde Thompson is a portfolio company of Kainos Capital, a private equity firm focused on the food and consumer goods industry. Kainos especially specializes in family-owned businesses or family-founded businesses where it can impart sales development, manufacturing and supply chain expertise.

"Olde Thompson is thrilled to partner with Gel to expand our platform," says Jeff Shumway, CEO of Olde Thompson. "Through the addition of Gel and the combination of our sales forces, we broaden our reach by adding customers within the retail, foodservice, bakery, industrial and export channels while also increasing our product offerings to include dry mixes, extracts and single serve seasonings for meal kits.  We are now the largest private label focused spice company dedicated to providing complete category solutions."

In the acquisition, David Sugarman, CEO of Gel, becomes the Co-CEO of Olde Thompson. He said the combination of the companies will enable Gel to better serve customers with an extensive organic spice portfolio and glass bottling capabilities. 

“With two SQF Level 2 facilities located on each coast, we are now able to provide more efficient distribution and redundant supply to our customers," Sugarman said.