US-based BBX Sweet Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of BBX Capital, invests in and acquires manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers of chocolate and confectionery products and is looking to extend its reach within that industry.
It entered the candy and confections business in December 2013, with the acquisition of Hoffman’s Chocolates in Florida.
Since then, the company has acquired six more companies with recognised brands in the US: Anastasia Confections, Helen Grace Chocolates, Jer’s Chocolates, The Toffee Box, Williams & Bennett and now Kencraft, Inc.
Established in 1969, Kencraft Candy manufactures “elegantly designed homemade hard candies” and is known for its Lollipops, LolliKits, LolliLetters, Candy Sticks, Candy Canes and Bubblegum Buddies, among others. Its 50,000 square foot production facility is near Salt Lake City, Utah.
Jarett Levan, president of BBX Capital and CEO of BBX Sweet Holdings, would not put a figure on the deal but he confirmed: “We continue to look for good acquisitions.”
The criteria for future acquisitions include legendary brands, exceptional products, and strong management, Levan explained.
“The candy and confections industry is an over $30 billion market, and we have a very small piece of the pie. However, the premium market is a growing sector of the market, and one that we think provides the most opportunity for growth. “
A good fit
He described this latest acquisition as a “great strategic fit” and said: “Kencraft has candy products that complement the existing BBX Sweet Holdings product portfolio.
“Like many of our other acquisitions in the past year, Kencraft is a legendary brand, with great management and capacity to grow within its existing production facility in Utah.”
He told ConfectioneryNews that product mix, production capabilities and geography played a key part.
“We were searching for an acquisition in the mountain region, which complements our other factories in California and Florida. Kencraft was the perfect fit - great product mix, and a facility with the capacity to grow in Utah.”
Levan added that the plan was to grow production volume and product range.
Benefit to Kencraft
Kencraft, as part of the BBX portfolio, can take advantage of sales and marketing, purchasing and other manufacturing synergies for BBX Sweet Holdings’ brands.
As well as the US, several of Sweet Holding’s brands sell products in Canada, the UK and Mexico.
Justin Boyle, president of Kencraft Candy, who will continue in this role, said: “Combining our manufacturing capabilities and facility with BBX Sweet Holdings sales and distribution network will position Kencraft Candy for the future.”