Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods has received a majority investment from Vestar Capital Partners to support the growth of its plant-based frozen food portfolio.
Founded in 1994, Dr. Praeger’s manufactures ‘better-for-you’ plant-based frozen and refrigerated foods. Its range includes vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and soy free options such as meat alternative burgers, sausages, appetisers and sides, which are sold in US retailers nationwide.
The US company will use the capital to launch further product innovations in the plant-based frozen and refrigerated foods category.
Following the investment, Dr Praeger’s CEO Larry Praegar and president Adam Somberg will continue in their current roles and remain significant investors in the company.
“When our fathers co-founded the company 25 years ago, they were truly innovators. In today’s competitive market, our partnership with Vestar will help provide the financial backing, industry relationships and category expertise to continue to build on our momentum,” said Praegar.
Somberg added: “We are fortunate to have some of the most loyal customers in the industry, but with more consumers eating in and looking for better food choices, the timing couldn’t be better to team with Vestar to explore ways to expand the brand.”
Dr. Praeger’s marks Vestar’s most recent investment and joins its portfolio of brands such as Simple Mills – a natural organic cracker, cookie and baking mix brand – Roland Foods, an importer and supplier of speciality foods and Nonni’s, a manufacturer of premium artisanal cookies and baked goods.
“The US better-for-you market has never been stronger, and we are excited to partner with a company that has been at the forefront of this trend and knows the market intimately,” said Winston Song, managing director and co-head of consumer at Vestar Capital Partners.
As part of the investment, Jeffrey Ansell, a senior advisor to Vestar will join the Dr. Praeger’s board as chairman. Ansell has previously served as chairman and CEO of Sun Products, CEO of Pinnacle Foods and spent 25 years in leadership positions at Procter & Gamble.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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