JBSS expands nuts and snacks business through acquisition

by Eric Schroeder
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Squirrel Brand nuts
Squirrel Brand makes premium roasted nuts and snack mixes under its Squirrel Brand and Southern Style Nuts brands.

ELGIN, ILL. — John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc. (JBSS) has acquired roasted nuts and snack mix maker Squirrel Brand, L.P. for $31.5 million. The transaction includes $20 million in cash and $11.5 million financed by Squirrel Brand through a three-year unsecured promissory note.

Headquartered in McKinney, Texas, Squirrel Brand makes premium roasted nuts and snack mixes under its Squirrel Brand and Southern Style Nuts brands. In addition to grocery, warehouse clubs and mass merchandisers, the company’s products may be found in coffee houses, on-line retailers, airlines and department stores.

Squirrel Brand generated sales of approximately $36.2 million in fiscal 2017, with JBSS providing about $24.8 million in sales to Squirrel.

Jeffrey Sanfilippo, JBSS
Jeffrey Sanfilippo, chairman and c.e.o. of JBSS

“The acquisition of the Squirrel Brand business provides us with an established customer base and branded product line that will help facilitate the execution of our Expanding Consumer Reach growth strategy, especially in our alternative distribution channels,” said Jeffrey T. Sanfilippo, chairman and chief executive officer of JBSS. “Squirrel Brand has been a customer in our Contract Packaging distribution channel for 14 years, and we know well the Squirrel Brand team and their business.”

Brent Meyer, president of Squirrel Brand, has agreed to join JBSS as senior vice-president.

“Over the years, Brent has continuously impressed us with his ability to build brands and his innovative approaches to marketing and distribution,” Mr. Sanfilippo said.

JBSS processes, packages, markets and distributes nut and dried fruit-based products that are sold under a variety of private brands and under the company’s Fisher, Orchard Valley Harvest and Sunshine Country brands. 
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