- Lakeview Farms last week said it purchased both Tribe Mediterranean Foods and Simply Fresh Foods. Financial details of the two acquisitions were not disclosed, according to a release from the companies.
- Tribe Mediterranean Foods of Taunton, Massachusetts — previously a subsidiary of Nestlé SA and the Israel-based Osem Group — makes 20 flavors of hummus products. The purchase strengthens Lakeview Farms' presence in the store perimeter and allows it to enter the $800-million hummus category with an established national brand, the Ohio company said.
- Simply Fresh Foods of Buena Park, California, manufactures refrigerated salsas, dips and seafood salads under the Rojo's and San Francisco Foods Company brands. It was previously owned by Ancor Capital Partners of Southlake, Texas.
Lakeview Farms — which is owned by Dallas-based Sequel Holdings — is known for making and marketing refrigerated dips, desserts, seafood salads, sour cream and spreads. Among its notable brands are Lakeview Farms, Luisa's, Salads of the Sea, Sea Gold, Señor Rico and Winky.
These two new acquisitions should fit nicely into Lakeview's existing portfolio. Tribe's hummus lineup gives it a new revenue source in a popular segment, while Simply Fresh's offerings — particularly the dips and seafood salads — are categories where Lakeview already has significant manufacturing and marketing experience.
Tribe is a privately owned company, so it's not clear how well the brand had been performing prior to Lakeview Farms' recent acquisition. But since Nestlé had gradually increased its ownership share in the Osem Group from 10% in 1996 to sole shareholder status in 2016, it could be assumed that the Swiss company's financial involvement in Tribe and other Osem products has been a lucrative one.
Simply Fresh Foods has also been privately owned and therefore doesn't make its earnings reports public. The same can be said for Lakeview Farms, although it's likely the company was doing reasonably well in 2015 when it was acquired by Sequel Holdings. The private equity firm initially purchased a stake in Lakeview from 2004 to 2011 and then bought the company in 2015 with additional investment capital from Falcon Investment Advisors and WP Global Partners.
Sequel noted at the time of the Lakeview purchase that the company "has strategically focused on the growing Hispanic market, introducing authentic products and brands in both the dessert and dip categories." Simply Fresh's refrigerated salsa lineup could prove to be an asset for Lakeview. By 2060, the Census Bureau projects Hispanic people will comprise more than 28% of the total population, with 119 million residing in the U.S. Food manufacturers like Lakeview and retailers hungry for growth would be wise to have a meaningful presence in this category in order to capture more share of this market.
Expanding Lakeview's portfolio also could be a part of Sequel's long-term strategy. John Madden, managing partner of Sequel Holdings, said in 2015 that they were looking "forward to supporting Lakeview as it works to complete the consolidation of its manufacturing capabilities and to expand its product offerings and the distribution of its products."
As Lakeview Farms expands, it could look to shed some of its products that don't mesh with its long-term strategy once these two new acquisitions are fully incorporated. Alternatively, the company may be focused on additional growth and looking for more deals. The direction it takes next is likely to depend on Sequel Holdings' appetite for additional M&A in the food and beverage industry, which seems to be on the menu.