October 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
Tasty 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.