Mpls. Snack Co. Buys Canadian Food Manufacturer
Live Better Brands, the maker of Way Better Snacks, announced Wednesday that it purchased Canadian “sprouted food manufacturer” BioEssential Botanicals, Inc., for an undisclosed sum.
Minneapolis-based Live Better Brands launched in 2011 and produces organic and all-natural chips under the Way Better Snacks brand name. Twin Cities Business profiled Way Better Snacks earlier this year, a few months after the company moved its headquarters from New York to the Tractor Works Building in Minneapolis’ North Loop.
Way Better Snacks has grown rapidly in its short three-year lifespan: It generated $7 million its first year, $15 million in 2013, and expects its 2014 revenue to climb to between $20 million to $25 million. The company has distribution in more than 20,000 stores throughout the United States and Canada and expects to double that over the next 12 to 18 months. Way Better Snacks currently employs 17 people.
BioEssential will remain in its facility in Stirling, Ontario along with its 15 total employees. As a result of the deal, it will be re-named Live Better Sprouting Innovation, Inc.
Way Better Snacks said its two first product lines, “Simply Sprouted Tortilla Chips” and “Simply Sprouted Pita-ahh Chips,” were “first-of-a-kind” in their incorporation of sprouted ingredients such as flaxseed, chia seeds, quinoa, black beans, and kale seeds. The company said it sources these key ingredients from BioEssential Botanicals.
“When launching Way Better Snacks, we determined early on that BioEssential Botanicals was a leader in its development and understanding of the sprouting process, and deep commitment to ingredient quality,” Live Better Brands CEO and founder Jim Breen said in a statement. “Partnering with BioEssentials has been a key part of Way Better Snacks success, and I’m now excited to grow the sprouted foods category to new heights through Live Better Sprouting Innovation.”
BioEssential’s CEO and President Dennis Barker and its Vice President of Operations Gail Barker will remain with the company. Dennis Barker will become vice president of innovation and Gail Barker will be vice president of operations.
“I know I speak for our entire team when I say we’re enthusiastic about joining the Live Better Brands organization,” Dennis Barker said in a statement. “This change will offer us the ability to further our mission of creating nutritious foods that have a positive impact on overall health and well-being. Jim and I are aligned on bringing waves of innovation to an array of food products that tap into the power of sprouted ingredients.”