5 Business Briefs You Should be Reading

Key business moves include acquisitions by Archer Daniels Midland, Sensient Technologies and Cambridge Commodities; New CEOs at Twinlabs and Vitamin Shoppe.

Judie Bizzozero, Content Director

July 25, 2018

4 Min Read
5 Business Briefs You Should be Reading

ADM Expands Range of Vanilla Capabilities with Rodelle Acquisition

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) has reached an agreement to acquire Rodelle Inc., a premium originator, processor and supplier of vanilla products, including organic and traditional extracts, beans, alcohol-free flavor and paste. The acquisition includes equity stake in farmer cooperative in Madagascar, part of the most extensive vertically integrated supply chain in the vanilla industry

Rodelle provides ingredient solutions to major food and beverage makers, as well as directly to consumers, with a premium retail brand that can be found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores in North America. The company’s sales last year were approximately $40 million. Rodelle’s supply chain is unique among major vanilla processors. In Madagascar, the company owns a stake in Federation Sahanala Vanille—a joint venture between Rodelle and a partnership of local associations that includes more than 2,100 registered vanilla farmers—and is capable of producing industry-leading volumes of certified organic vanilla. Rodelle also has a strategic partnership with Gourmet Gardens, providing sourcing of vanilla in Uganda.

Sensient Technologies Acquires Mazza Innovation

Sensient Technologies Corp. has acquired Mazza Innovation Ltd., a global leader in botanical extraction technology, for an undisclosed amount. The Mazza plant extraction facility at the Delta, British Columbia headquarters location will remain in place. The addition of Mazza Innovation is a major step in the evolution of Sensient’s ‘seed to shelf’ strategy to innovate across the value chain for natural and organic ingredients. Mazza’s leading-edge plant extraction technology better enables Sensient to meet customer demand for pure ingredients in their food and beverage, nutraceutical, and personal care products.

Commenting on the deal, Paul Manning, chairman, president and CEO of Sensient Technologies, said: “This acquisition is extremely significant for Sensient and our customers. The combination of our color and flavor expertise and Mazza’s revolutionary technology will allow us to conduct extraction from natural plant sources using environmentally friendly extraction methods—including water only extractions—instead of traditional chemical solvents. This technology will enable us to work with leading food, cosmetics, and nutraceutical brands to create cost effective, clean label products that deliver on consumer expectations for taste, color and functionality.”

Vitamin Shoppe Names New CEO

The Vitamin Shoppe Inc., an omni-channel, specialty retailer of nutritional products, announced Sharon M. Leite will take over as chief executive officer effective Aug. 27. She will also become a member of the board of directors. Leite’s predecessor, Colin Watts, announced in February he would be stepping down as CEO. The company’s net sales fell 8.6 percent to $1.18 billion in 2017. The first quarter of 2018, which ended March 31, saw same-store sales drop 3.6 percent from the first quarter of 2017. However, digital sales grew 20.7 percent.

Prior to joining The Vitamin Shoppe, Leite was the president of Godiva Chocolatier in North America since October 2017. She led the business across all channels, including stores, e-commerce and wholesale. Previously, she was the president of Sally Beauty, U.S, and Canada, an international specialty retailer and distributor of professional beauty products, with more than 3,000 stores. She spent close to a decade at Pier 1 Imports, leaving in 2016 as executive vice president of sales, customer experience and real estate. Earlier in her career, Leite held various executive leadership roles at Bath and Body Works as well as various sales and operations positions with other prominent retailers including Gap, Inc., The Walt Disney Company and Express.

Twinlabs Names New CEO

Entrepreneur and natural products adviser Anthony Zolezzi will take the top spot at supplements company Twinlab following the departure of Naomi Whittel earlier this year. He co-founded Code Blue Recycling and Pet Promise, both of which were acquired by large companies. After two years in the executive suite, Twinlab CEO Naomi Whittel announced she is leaving to focus on projects aimed at engaging consumers with nutrition-related health messages.

Cambridge Commodities Acquires Earth Circle Organics

UK-based ingredient supplier Cambridge Commodities Ltd, has acquired the ingredient business of U.S. wholesaler Earth Circle Organics LLC. Following the acquisition, Earth Circle Organics’ raw and organic superfood ingredient business will merge with the U.S. arm of Cambridge Commodities to create a new division, operating as Earth Circle Ingredients. The deal will provide Earth Circle Ingredients with access to Cambridge Commodities’ approved supplier base for more than 2,500 nutritional ingredients, its new product development expertise and its technical teams. This will allow Earth Circle Ingredients to expand its stock holding from raw and organic superfoods to include vegan and dairy proteins, natural extracts, and fruit and vegetable powders. Earth Circle Ingredients’ head office will be in Northern California with warehousing facilities on the East and West coasts.


About the Author(s)

Judie Bizzozero

Content Director, Informa Markets Health & Nutrition

Judie Bizzozero oversees food and beverage content strategy and development for the Health & Nutrition group at Informa Markets (which acquired VIRGO in 2014), including the Food & Beverage Insider, Natural Products Insider and SupplySide/Food ingredients North America brands. She reports on market trends, science-based ingredients, and challenges and solutions in the development of healthy foods and beverages. Bizzozero graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

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