Benford Capital recapitalizes Saco Foods

The Wisconsin-based niche foods provider hopes to capitalize on increased interest in baking among young consumers.

Benford Capital Partners has made an equity investment of an undisclosed size in Saco Foods, a Wisconsin company specializing in the provision of “healthy indulgent treats” and home baking supplies.

The transaction was completed in partnership with Saco’s founder Ray Sanna and chief executive officer Tom Walzer, according to a statement.

Walzer told Agri Investor that the company plans to use the capital to pursue both organic growth through the introduction of new products, including organic cocoa powder. Saco will also look to grow through acquisitions in specialty packaged goods, produce and baking markets, according to Walzer.

Founded in 1973, Saco provides niche-market food products to US supermarkets and mass retailers. Among its primary products is Dolci Frutta, a chocolate dip for fruits, nuts and other snacks that hardens, enabling consumers to create what Walzer called a “do it yourself chocolate covered strawberry”.

Addressing Saco’s baking business, Walzer explained that similarly to the way coffee has evolved from a consumer staple to a more specialized product, there is a generational dynamic at play within the baking products market.

“The Millennial is a unique consumer because they want what they want immediately, but we’re now starting to see [baking] become more of a hobby,” he said. “I think there was a lost decade or two – a lost generation  where baking wasn’t as strong as maybe [for] our parents or grandparents – but I think it’s en vogue now. We want to seize that moment by capturing that fair trade, organic, Millennial and Generation Z consumer.”

Benford Capital is a lower mid-market focused private investment firm that invests in companies with between $1 million and $5 million in EBITDA over both long and short time frames. Based in Chicago, the firm was founded in 2004, has nine platform companies and is currently seeking add-ons in the food and food ingredients markets.