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July 22, 2021
Private equity firm Pain Schwartz Partners has acquired Suja Life, a pioneer of organic, cold-pressure beverages, from Goldman Sachs Asset Management and co-investors. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in May 2012, Suja rose to fame among consumers, investors and celebrities, gaining a following for its clean, nutritious and plant-based offerings. Shortly after its launch, Suja became the nation’s leading organic, cold-pressured beverage brand, helping to democratize organic offerings to consumers, while delivering health without punishment. Suja has won some of the industry’s most coveted awards including Whole Foods Market Supplier of the Year and multiple NEXTY awards.
Suja’s product line includes cold-pressed juices, functional shots, and sparkling juices that are Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project verified and cold-pressured using high pressure processing (HPP) to kill any harmful bacteria and preserve maximum nutrition and taste.
The company experienced tremendous growth, particularly in the shots sector, after Bob DeBorde joined as CEO in 2019. Commenting on the deal, Kevin Schwartz, CEO of Paine Schwartz Partners, said: “Suja sits at the center of our company’s investment ethos—products that deliver great-tasting, functional ingredients that are as healthy for you as they are delicious. We look forward to supporting the company in this next phase of growth, investing behind new products and expanding distribution to bring Suja to even more consumers everywhere.”
Nutrasource Pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical Services announced the reception of a USTPO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) on “Methods for detecting genetically modified organisms” for the IGEN certification program. The International Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Evaluation and Notification program verifies label claims about the presence of GMOs in products and ingredients.
Currently, FDA and Health Canada regulations do not require companies to declare a product’s GMO status, instead asking companies for voluntary GMO labeling.
“We are thrilled to announce the reception of this patent for our IGEN program, as we continuously aim to increase consumer confidence promoting transparency,” said William Rowe, president and CEO, Nutrasource, “The IGEN certification program was designed specifically to certify that any product, from herbal supplements and vitamins to food ingredients do not contain any of the GMO genes and proteins found in common bioengineered crops.”
Comet Bio has completed a Series C round of equity financing with an initial close of US$22 million. The round was led by Open Prairie, a multi-faceted private equity fund management, and other investors including Louis Dreyfus Co. (LDC), BDC Capital, and existing investor Sofinnova Partners.
“Thanks to the support of our exceptional investors, we will now be able to invest in a dedicated manufacturing facility to grow the supply of our upcycled ingredients,” said Rich Troyer, CEO, Comet Bio. “We will also be investing in innovation including our product pipeline and health claims development.”
Comet Bio uses its patented upcycling technology to produce innovative ingredients. Its Arrabina Arabinoxylan plant fiber extract is a prebiotic dietary fiber with superior tolerability and functionality. It's clinically proven to promote growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, help maintain healthy blood glucose levels, and support immunity. The company’s line of Sweeterra syrups is a sustainable and lower sugar alternative to traditional sweeteners with no trade-offs in taste and performance.
The Barry Callebaut Group’s North American “Better For You” portfolio is transitioning to supporting sustainably sourced cocoa and vanilla. The portfolio includes, but is not limited to, sugar solutions (sugar-free, reduced sugar, no sugar added), high-protein, dairy-free, and organic solutions. The portfolio has seen high growth and innovation in recent years. This trend is expected to continue, and today’s announcement provides Barry Callebaut’s North American customers with high-quality sustainable products and supports the industrywide sustainability ambition.
Barry Callebaut’s Forever Chocolate initiatives have the mission to make sustainable chocolate the norm. Forever Chocolate is built on four targets that Barry Callebaut expects to achieve by 2025 and that address the biggest sustainability challenges in the chocolate supply chain including eradicating child labor from its supply chain; lifting more than 500,000 cocoa farmers out of poverty; becoming carbon and forest positive; and providing 100% sustainable ingredients in all its products
Symrise Diana Food has entered into an agreement with SMAG Smart Agriculture for the development of a customized mobile software app that will digitize its global agronomic operations.
The app, part of the SMAG Agreo business software platform, will create a digital agro-community comprised of Symrise Diana Food’s 13 global agronomists and its fruit and vegetable producers. It will serve as a repository of the company’s complete knowledge of agronomy, with agro-data gathered and structured cohesively and accurately. Collecting and securing information accurately right in the field will enable Symrise Diana Food to harmonize its vast agronomy data and homogenize agronomy practices at farms across Europe and the Americas. The software will improve scalability, facilitate continuity plans, and make traceability more attractive to all stakeholders.
The company is piloting the app in two countries, France and Chile, for testing prior to global rollout. Phase 1 launch, scheduled for October 2021, will include customized functionalities and development protocols that relate specifically to Symrise Diana Food. A potential Phase 2 update will include added functionalities that Phase 1 identifies, as well as a direct connection to Symrise Diana Food’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform.
Content Director, Informa Markets Health & Nutrition
Judie Bizzozero oversees food and beverage content strategy and development for the Health & Nutrition group at Informa Markets (which acquired VIRGO in 2014), including the Food & Beverage Insider, Natural Products Insider and SupplySide/Food ingredients North America brands. She reports on market trends, science-based ingredients, and challenges and solutions in the development of healthy foods and beverages. Bizzozero graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
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