Former PepsiCo chief Prado to lead pork snacks supplier Evans Food Group

By Vince Bamford contact

- Last updated on GMT

The US retail pork rind market is worth $327m [IRI]. Photo: iStock - Teen00000
The US retail pork rind market is worth $327m [IRI]. Photo: iStock - Teen00000

Related tags: Mexico, United states

Snack industry veteran Jose Luis Prado - former boss of Quaker Oats North America - has partnered with private equity firm Wind Point Partners to acquire pork rind snacks supplier Evans Food Group.

The Chicago-based manufacturer supplies branded and private label finished pork rind snacks and pork rind pellets. Founded in 1947, it has a presence in the US and Canada, as well as in 13 countries throughout Latin America and Asia.

Prado, who left PepsiCo-owned Quaker in 2014, will join Evans Food Group as chairman and CEO. He and Wind Point will work with Evans’ co-founder and chairman Alejandro Silva, who will serve on the board of directors.

Mac's pork rind brand

Evans brands include Mac’s, which was acquired by Evans in 1988 and is the third-largest US pork rind brand by retail sales, according to IRI, with value rising 2.5% year on year in 2015 to $30.4m [52 w/e December 27 2015]. This is slightly behind growth in the overall retail pork rind market, which rose  4.6% year on year to $327m.

Other brands in the Evans portfolio include La Toñita, which is targeted at the Mexican market; Porkies; and Bill’s. The manufacturer currently operates five production facilities: Chicago, IL; Arlington, TX; Portsmouth, OH; Ontario, CA; and Saltillo, Mexico.

Prado has 30 years’ experience in the snacks industry, most recently serving as president of Quaker Oats North America. He has held other senior roles at PepsiCo, including president and CEO of Grupo Gamesa-Quaker in Mexico, and a series of sales, finance and general management positions with PepsiCo in Latin America and Europe.

latonita__03
Evans' brands include La Tonita. Source: evansfoods.com

Wind Point Partners, which is also based in Chicago, focuses on partnering with management teams to acquire “middle market businesses where it can establish a clear path to value creation​”.

History of snacks investment

Recent food investments have included dairy manufacturer Gehl Foods (acquired in 2015), contract snacks manufacturer Shearer’s (sold to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in 2015), and baked goods and bars manufacturer Hearthside Food Solutions (sold to Goldman Sachs and Vestar Capital in 2014).

 “Wind Point’s partnership with Jose Luis – a top-caliber global executive in the food industry – along with our proven track record and depth of experience in food investments, creates an excellent opportunity to drive continued growth at Evans​,” said Wind Point managing director Mark Burgett.

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