- Salty pork snacks maker Evans Food Group has been acquired by private equity firm Wind Point Partners, though neither company disclosed terms of the deal.
- Evans is best known for pork rinds brands like Mac's, Porkies, and La Tonita and currently has four production facilities in the U.S. and one in Mexico.
- The company's new chairman and CEO will be Jose Luis Prado, a former PepsiCo and Quaker Oats executive. Evans' co-founder and chairman, Alejandro Silva, will serve on the company's board.
Pork rinds have been in and out of the spotlight for decades, particularly as health experts battle over whether the product is healthy. In 2013, pork rinds contributed the bulk of 7% sales growth for the "other" salty snacks category, which included pork rinds and vegetable chips, according to the 2013 NACS State of the Industry Report.
But currently, pork rinds are seeing declines in household penetration, with a 0.7% decrease in number of households buying pork rinds between 2010 and 2015, according to a recent Packaged Facts report. It was one of only two categories in salty snacks that saw a decline in household penetration (the other was popcorn), as the salty snacks category as a whole grew 3.5% to $22 billion in 2015.
Experts believe low-carbohydrate diets have driven the rise of pork rinds, as their growth spurt coincided with the popularization of the Atkins diet in the late-90s. Low-carb diets are increasingly popular today, so pork rinds could see another turnaround along with the fast growth of foods high in protein and the meat snacks segment, including jerky.