Highlander Partners, a leading middle-market private investment firm based in Dallas, Texas, announced the sale of Chicago Custom Foods (CCF), a manufacturer and distributor of branded seasonings. The sale was made to Sauer Brands, a portfolio company of Falfurrias Capital Partners.
“This sale marks the culmination of a very deliberate strategy of broadening the product line through additional flavors to existing products and introducing new seasoning offerings for use with other product categories,” said Jeff L. Hull, President and CEO of Highlander. “The management team, led by Jason Roy, has driven tremendous growth through innovation, new customer penetration, and increased consumer awareness.”
According to a press release, CCF was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. CCF is the creator and category leader in branded popcorn seasonings under the Kernel Season’s brand name. The Kernel Season’s product portfolio includes more than twenty popcorn flavors, ranging from simple butter and white cheddar, to garlic parmesan and cheesy caramel corn, as well as popcorn oils and drizzles.
Under Highlander's ownership, CCF introduced additional brands, including Tasty Shakes oatmeal mix-ins, Veggie Season’s vegetable seasonings, and the recently introduced premium Truffle Season’s popcorn seasonings. The company’s products are sold in more than 22,000 retailers—including mass merchants, grocery, and specialty stores—throughout North America and internationally. The products also can be found in movie theaters in more than 30 countries worldwide, accounting for over 32,000 screens.
“We are excited about the new opportunities with Sauer Brands, and also very appreciative of the support that Highlander provided during our tenure,” stated Roy, CEO of CCF. “We are ready for the future, and the team is energized by the possibilities and new opportunities. Our Kernel Season’s brand has exceptional consumer awareness and we are equally excited about our new brands and product offerings, too."
Jeff Partridge, CCF Chairman and a Highlander Managing Director, added, “Jason and his team have done an exemplary job. The speed of innovation and creativity in developing high-quality new products has only been outdone by the immense growth the company has experienced. We want to thank Jason and the entire team for an incredible job and wish them the best.”
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