Tasty Bite and 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners Join for Continued Growth on Leading Ethnic Food Brand

tastybitenewsOctober 1, 2010 (Stamford, CT) – Preferred Brands International (PBI), the manufacturers of Tasty Bite®, the leading brand of all natural, shelf stable Indian and Asian food, today announced a substantial investment by 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners. Existing investor, Rustic Canyon/Fontis Partners (RC/Fontis), also participated in this round of financing. Gary R. Sebek and Andrew S. Whitman, Managing Partners of 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners, will work closely with CEO Ashok Vasudevan and the Tasty Bite management team.

In a rapidly growing market for ethnic foods, Tasty Bite is leading the way with consistent annual growth in excess of 35%. According to Vasudevan, “Tasty Bite is helping Americans ‘Spice It Up’ with our complete line of all-natural Indian and Pan-Asian entrées, simmer sauces, rice and meal inspiration offerings.” Tasty Bite products can be found at many grocery, natural food and club stores in the United States, Canada and Australia.

The investment will help expand capacity at the Company’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Pune, India as well as increase Tasty Bite sales, distribution and marketing efforts. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Gary and Andy and the 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners team to the Tasty Bite family,” says CEO Vasudevan. “Their approach to working with entrepreneurs and their deep background in the food industry are welcome additions to our team.”

“In seeking out highly differentiated businesses with significant growth potential, we review hundreds of opportunities among emerging branded consumer products companies each year,” commented Sebek. “Having proactively evaluated many ethnic food companies, Tasty Bite is in a class of its own with an outstanding management team. Its unique and tempting products have mainstream appeal and tremendous growth potential. We’re excited to support the outstanding Tasty Bite management team in helping the business reach its full potential.”

RC/Fontis, a Southern California-based private equity fund, also previously invested in PBI. According to Renee LaBran, Partner in RC/Fontis and PBI Board Member, “RC/Fontis is pleased to welcome 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners to the Tasty Bite business and we are excited to further our commitment.”

Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

About Tasty Bite

tastybitemadraslentilsTasty Bite is the leading shelf-stable brand of Indian food in the United States and Australia. The brand is owned by Preferred Brands International, which was founded in 1995 and headquartered in Stamford, CT.

Tasty Bite brings flavors from the world straight to consumers’ kitchens with its all-natural entrée, simmer sauce, rice and meal inspiration offerings. Using the freshest ingredients, many of which are grown on the company’s farm in India, Tasty Bite products offer a range of cuisine at good value. With products ready to eat in just 90 seconds, Tasty Bite offers the perfect meal-time solution for those looking for a well-spiced, flavorful ethnic-inspired meal experience. Tasty Bite was named one of India’s “Best Companies to Work For” in 2009, Learn about all the delicious foods available at www.tastybite.com.


About 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners

2x Consumer Products Growth Partners joins with founders and management in emerging branded consumer products businesses capable of growing exponentially via an infusion of capital and industry expertise. The firm’s principals and industry venture partners have 350 years of combined experience, contacts and connections. Focus areas include food, beverage, personal care, home care and pet care – particularly in the organic/natural, specialty/gourmet and ethnic sectors. The firm or its principals have invested in such companies as gDiapers eco-friendly diapers, Orabrush bad breath eliminator, Eagle snacks and Wellness & Old Mother Hubbard all-natural foods for pets. Additional information is available at www.2xPartners.com.


About Rustic Canyon/Fontis Partners

Rustic Canyon/Fontis Partners, LP (RC/Fontis) is a Southern California-based private equity fund, providing expansion capital for high growth companies in both control and non-control transactions. The fund has particular expertise in US ethnic markets, and focuses on businesses in the consumer products (including food and beverage) and media industries, as well as business and consumer services. For more information, please visit www.rcfontis.com.

2x Partners: Second Investment Announced This Week

For the second time this week, we announced an investment. Our partnership and investment in Tasty Bite is an exciting one on many fronts. Tasty Bite is a fantastic brand with excellent history of growth and continued outstanding prospects. Of course the products are stellar; but the savvy management team is, like usual, a big part of the magic on the business. We couldn’t be more excited to join them and prior investor RC/Fontis in the future of the Tasty Bite business. Please visit www.TastyBite.com and make sure to try it today!

After Almost a Year … 2x Partners Invests in Orabrush

On a nice crisp early winter day a little less than a year ago, we met with Jeffrey and Neal Harmon, two young executives with Orabrush, Inc. It was the beginning of an exciting year … learning about this fantastic business, introducing them to two Angel investors and an industry executive from P&G who subsequently joined the Company as CEO … and culminating this month with an investment from 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners in Orabrush. See the news section for the press release. Twenty-four million YouTube views later and Orabrush is building the brand and consumer following in a whole new way.

We couldn’t be more excited to be involved (or to have a NY Times article run on the same day – see http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/27/business/media/27adco.html)

Orabrush Ready for Continued Growth Explosion

Former P&G executive Jeff D. Davis joins as CEO; 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners leads investment.

orabrushgray1September 28, 2010 (Provo, UT) – Orabrush, the tongue cleaner that helps cure bad breath, today announced the hiring of a new CEO and a growth capital investment. Both initiatives, designed to fuel growth, are the outcome of a relationship built over the past year between Orabrush executives Jeffrey and Neal Harmon and Andrew S. Whitman, Managing Partner of 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners.

orabrushvideoAccording to market research company Packaged Facts, Americans spend $3.1 billion each year on mints, gums and rinses to mask bad breath. However, the New York School of Dental Medicine indicates that “tongue bacteria account for 80% to 90% of all cases of bad breath.” Orabrush’s patented combination of ultra-soft, pointed bristles to clean deep into the tongue and a tongue scraper to remove bacteria really works. Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Jeffrey Harmon developed a revolutionary direct-to-consumer social media marketing approach which has resulted in more than 24 million YouTube views and high profile press coverage, including this week in the New York Times (www.nytimes.com/2010/09/27/business/media/27adco.html). Consumers are responding both by posting their own product reviews (with another 3.5 million YouTube views) and with their purchases of Orabrush.

In August, Jeff D. Davis joined Orabrush as CEO after retiring from Procter & Gamble with 23 years of service. Most recently, Davis led global operations of the worldwide Wella business as VP/General Manager, P&G Salon Professional. During his tenure at P&G, Davis worked in six different product sectors (including consumer packaged goods, pharmaceutical and beauty businesses) and in five different countries (United States, Canada, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany). According to Dr. Robert Wagstaff (“Dr. Bob”), Orabrush founder and Chairman, “Jeff brings exactly the right mix of big company experience and entrepreneurial spirit.” Neal Harmon, Chief Operating Officer, adds “we appreciated Andy’s interest in Orabrush to introduce us last winter to Jeff Davis who subsequently joined us as CEO.”

Having made a recent investment, 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners will bring its extensive branded consumer products experience in support of the growth of Orabrush. “Andy and the team understand our industry-leading, innovative social media marketing model,” says CMO Jeffrey Harmon. “Even before investing, they helped us meet our Angel investors and acted as a sounding board on business issues.” CEO Davis adds, “This partner brings the capital and right expertise our young company needs. We know they will be a critical contributor to our future success.”

“We review hundreds of opportunities among emerging branded consumer products companies each year, to identify highly differentiated businesses with significant growth potential,” commented Whitman. “Orabrush is a unique and patented product with an unbelievable route-to-market and engaged consumer following. We couldn’t be more excited to support Dr. Bob, Neal, Jeffrey, Jeff and the team in the expansion of the Orabrush business.”

Orabrush sales levels and the magnitude of the investment were not disclosed, but the funding will be used to expand distribution, staff and the Orabrush product line.

About Orabrush

Created by Dr. Robert Wagstaff (“Dr. Bob”) in 2000, Orabrush is a patented, FDA approved tongue cleaner designed to help cure bad breath using a combination of ultra-soft, pointed bristles that reach deep into the tongue and a unique scraper to remove bacteria. Orabrush intends to become the #1 tongue cleaner in the world as 80% to 90% of bad breath is caused by bacteria on the tongue. Orabrush has demonstrated industry-leading innovation in social media marketing to create awareness and online purchases at unprecedented levels. With over 24 million YouTube views and more than 250,000 Facebook fans, the brand has launched into 114 countries in the past year. Orabrush has the seventh most subscribed sponsor channel on YouTube and is rapidly expanding to retail to meet the needs of engaged consumers globally. Watch the videos or order your Orabrush at www.orabrush.com or connect with us on www.YouTube.com/orabrush.

About 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners

2x Consumer Products Growth Partners joins with founders and management in emerging branded consumer products businesses capable of growing exponentially via an infusion of capital and industry expertise. The firm’s principals and industry venture partners have 350 years of combined experience, contacts and connections. Focus areas include food, beverage, personal care, home care and pet care – particularly in the organic/natural, specialty/gourmet and ethnic sectors. Businesses are primarily within the $1 to $15 million revenue range. The firm or its principals have invested in such companies as gDiapers eco-friendly diapers, Eagle snacks and Wellness & Old Mother Hubbard all-natural foods for pets. Additional information is available at www.2xPartners.com.

2x Partners: Concept Becomes Reality

In December 2009, we participated in BevNet LIVE – a fantastic forum for emerging beverage business entrepreneurs (and big company folks alike) – by giving a workshop on how to attract venture capital or private equity funding for their beverage businesses called “Show Me The Money – Financing Bootcamp for Founders”. We had a chance to meet many founders including brothers Mark and Jon Sider who were readily to launch a brand called Greater > Than. It was a concept at the time as they’d not yet done their first production run. Well, based on seeing their sampling van parked on a Chicago street corner, it’s great to see the concept become reality. www.drinkgt.com