Inventure Group buys frozen fruit grower for $21 million

by Eric Schroeder
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PHOENIX — The Inventure Group, Inc., a marketer and maker of natural/organic and indulgent specialty food brands, acquired substantially all of the assets of Rader Farms, Inc. for approximately $21 million in cash. Based in Lynden, Wash., Rader Farms is a processor and marketer of premium frozen blueberries, raspberries, berry blends and other fruit products. The company had approximately $27 million in sales during 2006.

"Rader Farms provides The Inventure Group an exciting new growth platform in a specialty food category with compelling growth potential based on shifting consumer eating habits and health trends," said Eric Kufel, president and chief executive officer of The Inventure Group. "Our vision for the company is to build a diverse lineup of specialty better-for-you, natural/organic and indulgent food brands that meet evolving consumer needs. The addition of Rader Farms is a major step forward for the company as we begin to diversify our brand and product mix to include natural and better-for-you brands in a variety of specialty food categories."

The Inventure Group said it chose to enter the frozen fruit category in large part because it determined a "strong likelihood of long-term category growth due to shifting consumer eating habits and health trends, category scale appropriate in size for the Inventure Group and category competitive dynamics that allow the company to better leverage its organizational and manufacturing competencies as well as its extensive customer penetration."

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