Fresca Foods acquires Open Road Snacks

Fresca Foods builds snack portfolio with Open Road Snacks acquisition

Existing teams from both companies will leverage their expertise to further accelerate growth of the Open Road Snacks brands in the expanding better-for-you snack category.

Fresca Foods Inc. today announced that it has acquired longtime partner Open Road Snacks, makers of Rocky Mountain Popcorn, Sinfully Thin popcorn and Diego’s Chips. This acquisition will help accelerate the growth of Open Road Snacks' products and expand Fresca Foods’ portfolio of owned natural and organic food brands.

Open Road Snacks, founded in Denver, Colorado, makes better-for-you and ethnically inspired ready-to-eat popcorn and chips. Open Road Snacks products are distributed throughout the United States and are available in more than 25,000 retail locations.

According to Nielsen, ready-to-eat popcorn has grown more than 15 percent in the past 52 weeks and 100 percent since 2012. This growth has been led by entrepreneurial brands, says Rabobank analyst Nicholas Fereday: "It is the small innovative companies that have the growing brands and have been doing most of the running.” Fresca expects this growth to continue and for innovative companies like Open Road Snacks to continue to lead the trend, as consumers are increasingly seeking convenient snack foods that deliver great taste and better nutrition.

Open Road Snacks will become the second company in Fresca’s wholly owned subsidiary, Fresca Brands Innovation Group. It follows Sejoyia Foods, which joined Fresca Brands in October 2015. Sejoyia Foods makes Coco-Roons, which are rich, indulgent cookies made from simple superfood ingredients. Sejoyia was created by a grandmother who healed herself from a chronic health condition by changing the way she ate and used her journey to create a new kind of food company. Fresca Brands partners with visionary entrepreneurs and builds innovative brands that make better tasting, healthier and more environmentally responsible snack foods more accessible to more consumers.

The acquisition of Open Road Snacks represents the expansion of a partnership that began over six years ago, when Fresca became supply chain partner to Open Road Snacks, providing product development, sourcing, manufacturing and logistics services for the brand. Co-Founder Karen Bradley and the Open Road Snacks sales team will join Fresca and stay focused on the growth of Rocky Mountain Popcorn, Sinfully Thin popcorn and Diego’s chips. They will be supported by expanded sales support, marketing, product innovation, finance, and back office teams. R&D, supply chain and manufacturing have and will continue to be provided by Fresca as it has been for years, across its 320,000-square-foot pilot plant, manufacturing and logistics centers. This continuity throughout Open Road Snacks' business ensures there will be no disruption in service provided to its customers.

Fresca started as Pasta Fresca in Boulder, Colorado, selling all natural foods to retail customers and wholesale accounts more than 24 years ago. Over the past 13 years, Fresca has transformed from a small foodservice manufacturer into a paradigm-shifting natural foods company, operating its own natural food brands and serving as supply chain and innovation partner to category leaders.

Source: Fresco Foods press release

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