Sauer Brands acquires leading popcorn seasoning line

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Seasonings and condiments company Sauer Brands Inc., Richmond, Va., has acquired Chicago Custom Foods (CCF), maker of the top-selling popcorn seasoning brand Kernel Season’s.

Sauer produces private brand products for retailers and foodservice clients, and operates the Spice Hunter and Duke’s Mayonnaise brands. The acquisition bolsters its capabilities into a seasonings category with more than 20 different flavorings for popcorn but also leveraging CCF’s product launches in vegetable seasonings and oatmeal mix-ins.

It will be seen if the company leverages any of these new business units into private label. "CCF has done a tremendous job growing the Kernel Season's brand, creating a culture of innovation and leveraging an impressive degree of merchandising savvy that we can learn from," said Bill Lovette, executive chairman of Sauer Brands Inc. "We are excited about adding another strong brand to our lineup and partnering with Jason and his team to grow the business through supply chain efficiencies and other synergies."

Sauer Brands is a portfolio company under Falfurrias Capital Partners in Charlotte, N.C., and will operate CCF as a separate business unit.

The CCF line of products are sold through more than 30,000 distribution points in the U.S. and internationally, across mass, grocery, specialty retailers and in movie theaters.

"I couldn't be prouder of the results our team has achieved in extending our market leadership in popcorn seasonings and developing new offerings for the hot cereal and fresh produce categories," said Jason Roy, CEO of CCF. "We are excited about joining the Sauer Brands family and look forward to working with Bill and Martin to accelerate growth for all of our brands."