Honey of a Deal: Natural American Foods Acquires Sweet Harvest

Meagan McGinnes

Honey producer Natural American Foods announced last week that it had acquired rival honey and peanut butter producer Sweet Harvest Foods Company for an undisclosed price.

Sweet Harvest, a Minneapolis-based, family-owned company that opened in 1923, sells honey products under the MEL-O brand and peanut butter products under the PB Crave brand, as well as honey and other ingredients to food manufacturers.

As part of the acquisition, Curt Riess, president of Sweet Harvest, will serve on the board of Natural American Foods and work with the management team to help accelerate the growth of the combined businesses, according to Peak Rock Capital, which owns Natural American Foods. The Riess family will continue to have an ownership interest in the company, and the company will continue to be based in Cannon Falls.

“On behalf of myself, my wife Darcy, and all Sweet Harvest employees, we are very excited to join the Natural American Foods team,” Riess said in a statement. “Sweet Harvest and Natural American Foods have each established strong reputations for producing high quality products and working to deliver outstanding customer service. I’m looking forward to our partnership and working with Natural American Foods’ talented management team to accelerate the growth of the combined businesses.”

Robert Strauss, a managing director at Peak Rock Capital, said the Reiss family will continue to run the company on a day-to-day basis. He added that there are no immediate changes anticipated for Sweet Harvest employees, and that the acquisition will provide Sweet Harvest with additional financial and strategic support to continue to grow and serve its consumers, retail customers, employees and suppliers.

Sweet Harvest’s addition to the company’s brand portfolio comes only a month after Natural American Foods appointed a new Chief Executive Officer, Lance Chambers. Chambers has leadership experience at both special ingredient food companies, like Liguria Foods, Inc., and CPG companies like Bel Brands USA, Inc. and Kraft Foods.

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