By Karla Paris
Using more than a century of food industry know-how, the jam and jelly maker is branching out into the snacks segment
Earlier this month, the J.M. Smucker Company agreed to buy Sahale Snacks, a Seattle-based maker of dried fruit and nut snacks for an undisclosed price. Sahale (pronounced sah-HA-lee) Snacks is a privately held company with an estimated $50 million in annual sales from warehouse clubs, convenience stores, and supermarkets. The acquisition, announced on August 6, comes with a leased production facility in Seattle and about 150 employees.
“This is an exciting acquisition and an excellent strategic fit for our company,” says Paul Smucker Wagstaff, president of Smucker's U.S. Retail Consumer Foods and a fifth-generation of the Smucker family, in a written statement. “The addition of the Sahale Snacks provides an established platform for growth in the snacking space.”
Sahale Snacks has been a portfolio company of a private equity fund affiliated with Palladium Equity Partners since 2007. The transaction is expected to close by mid-September, but Smucker’s says it should not have a material impact on the company's fiscal 2015 financial results. The anticipated completion of this acquisition adds to the growing list of companies purchased by Smucker’s. In May 2008, it announced the acquisition of the food division of Knott's Berry Farm from ConAgra Foods. Another monumental acquisition occurred just a month later. On June 4, 2008, Smucker's announced it would purchase the Folgers coffee brand division from Procter & Gamble for $3.3 billion.
Smucker’s is also known for being actively involved in the political campaign known as the “Coalition Against The Costly Food Labeling Proposition,” sponsored by Farmers and Food Producers. The coalition has contributed funding of $485,000, throughout 2012. This organization was set up to oppose a citizen's initiative, known as Proposition 37, demanding mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients.