Sweet Harvest Foods, a natural sweeteners platform owned by Blue Road Capital, has acquired Nature Nate’s Honey.
Nature Nate’s is the largest purchaser of honey from US-based beekeepers. The company’s customers include Sam’s Club, Walmart, Target, Kroger, Sprouts Farmers Market and Amazon.
The McKinney, Texas-based company was founded in 1972 as North Dallas Honey and was acquired by Nathan Sheets in 1997. The company rebranded as Nature Nate’s in 2012, became the largest honey brand in 2016, and the largest organic honey brand in 2017. Today, according to Nature Nate’s, it has a leading 10% share of the branded retail honey market and a 45% share of the organic-branded retail honey market.
Sweet Harvest Foods sources and distributes natural sweeteners and is one of the country’s largest packers of 100% pure all-natural honey. The company, led by CEO Ken Stickevers, operates facilities in Minnesota, California and Michigan and is headquartered south of Minneapolis in Cannon Falls, Minnesota.
“Nature Nate’s success demonstrates the value of putting people and the highest-quality products first. It’s our vision to continue as the most trusted honey company,” said Mr. Sheets. “Sweet Harvest and Blue Road believe in that vision, bring expertise in natural foods and agricultural markets and enable us to grow the honey category at an accelerated pace. We’re excited to join Sweet Harvest and create a collaboration that will benefit our consumers and retailers by making premium honey accessible to every home in the country.”
“Sweet Harvest and Nature Nate’s teams align well, from our mission to grow the honey category, to our standards in quality honey, to our company cultures,” said Mr. Stickevers. “I look forward to working with Nate and his team to merge the best insights and practices from each organization to rapidly accelerate the honey and natural sweetener market with our customers.”
Blue Road Capital makes control investments in Americas-based agricultural and food/ingredient supply chain and production companies. Blue Road acquired Sweet Harvest (Natural American Foods) in April 2021 from Peak Rock Capital. Other Blue Road portfolio companies include California nut grower Diamond Foods, Florida arugula supplier B&W Quality Growers, and Washington state-based fruit and vegetable supplier Vanguard International. Blue Road was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in New York City.
© 2022 Private Equity Professional | January 6, 2022