The manufacturer, which will remain based in New Jersey, sells its certified non-GMO and MSG-free products through more than 10,000 locations across North America, including grocery and club stores.
Clearlake has made the investment through Better For You Holdings, a platform it launched earlier this month to focus on investments in emerging food and health and wellness trends. Details of the transaction have not been revealed.
That’s How We Roll Founder Aldo Zuppichini maintains a “significant” equity stake in the company, which will continue to be led by himself and his team, including senior vice president of marketing and operations Sam Kestenbaum and vice president of sales Amy Kiley.
Snacks industry veteran
Zuppichini is a snacks industry veteran who was on the founding team of Pretzel Crisps before its parent company was sold to Snyder’s-Lance, and was also a founding member of NY Style Bagel Chips before its sale to Nabisco.
That's How We Roll brands
Mrs Thinsters are described as low-calorie, thin, crispy cookies made with “simple ingredients found in any kitchen”, and do not contain corn syrup or any artificial ingredients. Flavors include Cake Batter, Chocolate Chip, Brownie Batter, Original Waffle Crisps, Pumpkin Spice, and the recently introduced Toasted Coconut.
Dippin’ Chips are tortilla chips offered in flavors such as Veggie, Fiesta Bean, Super Grain, Original Sea Salt, and Blue Corn. They are certified gluten-free and use non-GMO ingredients.
“Clearlake’s partnership will allow us to extend our resources for product innovation, accelerate nationwide distribution, and provide consumers with more premium healthy snack options without sacrificing taste,” said Zuppichini.
Clearlake co-founders and managing partners José Feliciano and Behdad Eghbali said they were excited to support the company’s growth, adding: “We believe Dippin’ Chips and Mrs Thinsters are well-positioned to attract consumers looking to make healthier lifestyle choices.”
Halen Brands partnership
The first investment made under Better For You Holdings was a partnership with Halen Brands, a venture focused on investing in high-growth parts of the food industry.
Halen is led by food industry veterans Leigh Feuerstein and Jason Cohen, who created brands including Dippin’ Chips and Mrs Thinster’s, in addition to Mamma Says Biscotti, Sensible Portions Veggie Straws and Rickland Orchards Greek Yogurt Snacks.
Clearlake and Halen Brands have invested in jerky producer Chef’s Cut, and partnered in the acquisition of chocolate-based, gluten-free snacks brand Road Crew Crunch.
Clearlake - whose core target sectors include energy, technology, communications and consumer products and services – has more than $3.5bn of assets under management.