First launched in 2008, PopCorners are made using a patented air-popping technique that combines heat and moisture under compression to create light and crispy gluten-free snacks from non-GMO corn.
Flex Protein Chips (air-popped snacks made with soybean and cassava featuring 10g protein and 4g fiber per serving) and Flourish Veggie Chips (made with beans, peas, and veggies) debuted this year, and tap into demand for snacks with more protein, fiber and veggies.
Upon closing, BFY CEO Paul Nardone and president and chief commercial officer Dan Morgan will continue to lead the business, which will become part of PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America division, said PepsiCo Foods North America CEO Steven Williams. “Their production capabilities will support the growth of our existing, more-nutritious snack brands.”
BFY’s R&D facilities and manufacturing plants in Middletown, NY, and Liberty, NY – which also produce better-for-you popped snacks for other companies – are part of the deal.
“With the fastest growing brand among better-for-you salty snacks [in the US], we look forward to leveraging PepsiCo’s world-class resources and distribution platform for this next chapter,” said Nardone, who noted that BFY had more than doubled the size of its workforce from 350 to c.750 employees while under Permira’s ownership.
“With the support of the Permira funds, we have transformed from our manufacturing heritage to become a leader in better-for-you snacking," added Nardone, a CPG industry veteran who was brought in to head up BFY Brands after Permira acquired it in 2015.
Ideal Snacks started contract manufacturing better-for-you snacks using patented ‘puffing’ technology in the late 1990s/early 2000s, and introduced the PopCorners brand in 2008 as part of a branded snacks business called Medora Snacks. Both parts of the business were acquired by private equity firm Permira in mid-2015.