VANCOUVER, BC. — Private equity firm TPG Growth has acquired a majority stake in low-sugar candy brand SmartSweets. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Tara Bosch, founder of SmartSweets, will remain the largest individual shareholder.
Douglas MacFarlane, former leader of Voortman Bakery, has been named chief executive officer. He succeeds Ms. Bosch, who will maintain her seat on the board and focus on innovation and strategic initiatives. Prior to his five years with Voortman Bakery, Mr. MacFarlane held various leadership positions at The Clorox Co. and Maple Leaf Foods.
“I am so excited to help write the next chapter of the SmartSweets story with Tara, the SmartSweets family, and TPG,” Mr. MacFarlane said. “Five years ago, Tara disrupted the candy aisle with a low-sugar, radically better choice to our favorite treats. I look forward to continuing her passion, vision, and energy by working with the SmartSweets team to bring further innovation to the candy category and beyond.”
SmartSweets, which offers a range of gummy and chewy candies with 3 or 4 grams of sugar per serving, has more than doubled its sales in the past year and continues to expand its reach and distribution to new channels while growing with key customers.
“At a time when consumers are increasingly making buying decisions based on sugar content we were immediately drawn to the taste, quality, and range of SmartSweets’ low-sugar gummy treats,” said Heather Smith Thorne, partner at TPG Growth. “Beyond taste and ingredients, a brand’s staying power relies on its ability to engage and identify with consumers. Tara and her team have formed a deep and authentic connection with their customers that has translated to tremendous sales momentum and a leadership position in the better-for-you food movement. We look forward to working with Tara and Douglas to continue SmartSweets’ growth and success.”