Private equity firm TPG Growth has acquired a majority stake in Canadian low-sugar sweets brand, SmartSweets, for an undisclosed sum.
Founded in 2015, SmartSweets manufactures a wide variety of better-for-you alternatives to traditional sweet products, which are free-from artificial sweeteners, added sugars and sugar alcohols.
Made with plant-based fibre, the company’s portfolio includes low-sugar gummy bears, peach rings and recently-launched gummy worms, which are available across the US and Canada.
The investment comes at a time of growth for the Vancouver-based company, as SmartSweets says it has more than doubled its sales in the past year. With TPG as the new majority shareholder, the company aims to continue expanding into new channels and disrupting the sweets category.
Meanwhile, founder and CEO Tara Bosch will remain the largest individual shareholder of SmartSweets and will maintain her seat on the board. However, Douglas MacFarlane, former CEO of Ontario-based Voortman Bakery, will take over her role as the firm’s new CEO.
“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.
She added: “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.”
Founder of SmartSweets, Tara Bosch, added: “I cannot wait to partner with Douglas to further our long-term strategy, community and brand building, product innovation, inhouse representation and inclusion work, and other strategic priorities.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020