Toronto – SunOpta Inc. seems to be on a buying spree. The company, which acquired a U.S. firm just late last month, has announced another acquisition.
(To read more about the acquisition in July, click here: “SunOpta acquires California-based frozen fruit processor.”)
This time the company is based in the Niagara Region in Southern Ontario and is called Niagara Natural Fruit Snack Company Inc. The acquisition is valued at US$6.7 million.
“We see product innovation opportunities in healthy and organic packaged fruit snacks, but also in fruit-based ingredients and new products focused on main stream snacking,” says Steve Bromley, CEO of SunOpta.
“Our ongoing investment in new product development plays a key role in our growth strategy, and the fruit snack category is a great example of a category where we intend to provide innovative products for existing and new customers.”
Niagara Natural manufactures healthy, non-GMO and organic fruit snacks for private label and co-pack applications. The all-natural fruit snacks come in various shapes, sizes, flavours and packaging formats, and contain only 100% real fruit with no added sugars or corn syrup and no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Established in 2009, the company now has a 68,000-sq.-ft. production facility equipped with the latest in extruded fruit snack production technology. The company also has the Niagara Natural Fruit Snack UK division, which consists of both a sales office and warehousing in England.
In a statement SunOpta says with the new company in its stable it will extend its market presence in fruit snacks and will now have manufacturing operations in both the east and west of Canada. This will mean improved customer service capabilities and enhanced operations and logistics.
Niagara Natural is expected to generate approximately $10 million in revenue in 2015 and has approximately 35 employees, all of whom are expected to join SunOpta.
Niagara Natural’s founder, John Boot, is the company’s president and will lead SunOpta’s combined fruit snack category.
“Joining SunOpta allows us to leverage their global platform and combine our innovation pipelines, which should enable us to reach new customers and offer existing customers enhanced capabilities,” says Boot.
“Combining our existing fruit snack platform creates a strong market leader in the growing fruit snack category.”
Images from Niagara Natural Fruit Snack Company website.