That was the headline of a story in The Wall Street Journal earlier this month detailing how the salty snack has become a go-to item for shoppers at America's high-end grocers, such as Whole Foods. But the classic pork rinds you can buy for $1 a bag at Walmart or in bulk on Amazon for $2.17 a bag still have a market, too. And that's where private equity comes in.
Evans Food Group, a provider of branded and private label pork rinds, announced Thursday it had acquired Turkey Creek, a Georgia-based snack company also known for its pork rinds. The deal appears to be part of Wind Point Partners' larger plan to scoop up pork-rind companies across the US.
The Chicago-based firm originally acquired Evans in 2016 alongside company chairman and CEO Jose Luis Prado. The next year, Evans bought California-based Gaytan Foods, bolstering its pork-rind presence on the West Coast. With the acquisition of Turkey Creek, Evans will now have a better market position in the US Southeast, where its core product has become a tailgating staple.
This is far from Wind Point's first foray into the consumer snacks business. In 2014, the firm notably sold Hearthside Food Solutions, an Illinois-based snacks maker, to Vestar Capital Partners and the private equity division of Goldman Sachs for a reported $1.1 billion, exiting a business it first backed in 2009. (Last May, Charlesbank Capital Partners and Partners Group bought Hearthside in a deal worth more than $2.4 billion, according to Reuters.)
Overall, Wind Point has made more than 18% of its investments since 2009 in the consumer non-durables sector, per the PitchBook Platform, trailing only the number of deals its made in commercial services.