Ready Pac Foods Inc., the Irwindale, Calif., maker of single-serve salads, is offering itself up for acquisition by a larger manufacturer in the next two years, says CEO Tony Sarsam. The move adds the company to a growing list of acquisitions by packaged food companies. Reporting sales of $677 million last year, Ready Pac is currently owned by private equity firm H.I.G. Capital.
Ready Pac has positioned itself as a solution for manufacturers looking to push portfolios in the fresh produce, grocery store perimeter, where much growth in retail grocery is now focused. The company doesn't position its brand as all-natural or organic, however, except for its new line of organic and non-GMO salads.
"We solve a lot of problems for consumers looking for healthy meals,” Sarsam said to Bloomberg. “That’s a horse we can ride.” Sarsam also told Bloomberg he doesn't expect H.I.G. Capital to take Ready Pac public. He was once a vice president of PepsiCo Inc., which is among the companies currently seeking acquisitions. PepsiCo failed in its recent bid for a majority stake in Greek yogurt maker Chobani. White Wave, another potential buyer, has been making several acquisitions in recent years, including Vega Foods, Wallaby Yogurt and most relevant to Ready Pac, Earthbound Farm. Ready Pac could be an extension of the organic salads segment WhiteWave has with Earthbound Farm, says investment .
Ready Pac gives manufacturers a way to tap convenience while offering a fresh meal. The handy single-serve salads and their easy-to-use packaging give Ready Pac a strong convenience advantage, an increasingly important consideration in consumer purchasing decisions. They're sold in Walmarts and other stores across the country.