Looking to extend its healthy foods portfolio,Smart Balance Inc ., Paramus, N.J., said it purchasedGlutino Food Group, for $66.3 million from Claridge, a Montreal investments and holding company.
Glutino, Laval, Quebec, produces a wide range of gluten-free products including frozen entrees, frozen pizzas and pizza crusts. Officials said Glutino posted annual sales of $53.9 million during its fiscal year ended March 31, 2011.
"The demand for gluten-free products is significant and is now a category of over $2 billion in retail sales," said Smart Balance Chairman & CEO Stephen Hughes. "We are bullish on the continuation of the category's 10 percent compound annual growth rate due to increased awareness and diagnosis of gluten-induced ailments, including celiac disease, gluten intolerance and wheat allergies."
Smart Balance offers a line of trans fat-free items including refrigerated buttery speads and sticks, enhanced milks and cheese. It also markets natural foods under the Earth Balance and Bestlife brands.
Smart Balance buys Glutino Food Group
August 4, 2011