Arlon’s Wholesome Sweeteners acquires organic sweet maker

Fair trade and organic sweetener company, Wholesome, adds TruSweets' specialty sweet brands to its product lines.

Arlon Group’s portfolio company, Wholesome Sweeteners, has purchased organic candy company TruSweets for an undisclosed sum, according to a press release.

The acquisition adds TruSweets’ brands, Surf Sweets and TruJoy Sweets, to Wholesome Sweeteners’ organic and fair trade sugar and sweetener product lines. Formed in 2001, Wholesome Sweeteners re-branded its flagship line under the name Wholesome! this year.

TruSweets joins Arlon Group’s portfolio of mid-market agri companies that includes land management, dairy distribution and frozen meal companies.

“Better-for-you candy is a large and growing market. Consumers are actively seeking ‘free-from’ products to address their desire for cleaner food options,” said Wholesome Sweeteners chief executive, Nigel Willerton, in a statement. “We’re looking forward to building on the great path they have forged to give consumers organic candies that they enjoy eating and can trust buying,”

TruSweets markets its candy as non-genetically modified and free of gluten, artificial flavors and common food allergens. The company’s TruJoy brand candies are also vegan and kosher.

Arlon Group began as the investment arm of Continental Grain, and spun out in 2008. The 2012 purchase of Wholesome Sweeteners came from the group’s $335 million US-focused food and agri fund, a 2011-vintage. The group continues to raise a $400 million Latin America fund. Arlon Group is based in New York with an additional office in São Paulo and controls roughly $980 million in assets, according to the company website.