November 3, 2020
Benestar Brands, LLC (“Benestar”), a portfolio company of Highlander Partners, L.P., has announced the acquisition of Miller Baking Company, the manufacturer of Pretzilla branded soft pretzel bites and buns. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Pretzilla is a pioneer in fresh soft pretzel bread and today is the leading brand and manufacturer in this highly innovative, growing category. Cascadia Capital acted as financial advisor to Miller Baking Company.
In 2007, under the leadership of owner Brian Miller, the 97-year old Miller Baking Company began developing a uniquely “light and airy with a touch of sweetness” soft pretzel bread, and in 2010, the Pretzilla brand was born. The business has since transitioned from a multi-product bakery to a specialized pretzel bread snack business and today offers a variety of soft pretzel products, including Burger Buns, Mini Buns, Sausage Buns, and Bites, distributed nationally in over 10,000 stores. The company manufactures all products (which are non-GMO, allergen-friendly, vegan, and kosher) in its two Milwaukee-based facilities.
Since dedicating itself to pretzel bread, Pretzilla has invested significantly in R&D and operations, spurring remarkable innovation in the nascent category in terms of both product introductions and product attributes. The company has created markets for products at retail that did not exist previously such as fresh soft pretzel bites, an exciting innovation in the snack food industry. With bites featuring new flavors and fillings hitting the market today, Pretzilla is well positioned to demonstrate continued momentum in the snacking category. As the first mover in the market, Pretzilla maintains a significant market share in the retail pretzel bread category.
Carl E. Lee, Jr, CEO of Benestar brands, commented “Pretzilla is a uniquely positioned brand. It is already a beloved household name with great awareness, yet it has hardly scratched the surface of its market opportunity. With Benestar’s retail relationships and penchant for product innovation, we think there is an incredible opportunity to take Pretzilla to the next level. We know the pretzel category well and are amazed by the strides Brian Miller and his team have made to develop and produce products with this level of consistent quality. We are thrilled to welcome Pretzilla to the Benestar family and look forward to continued growth, both through new snack innovations and accelerating existing soft pretzel products.”
“This is an exciting time for Pretzilla,” said Founder, Brian Miller. “What started as a simple passion for baking pretzel bread has grown into an amazing brand that is recognized in households across the U.S. I’m extremely proud of what the Pretzilla team and its leadership have been able to accomplish. I look forward to seeing the brand achieve totally new levels of success with the Highlander and Benestar teams.”
“We are very pleased to have this opportunity to work with Brian Miller to find the ideal buyer for Pretzilla,” added George Sent, Cascadia Capital Managing Director. “Highlander Partners and Benestar represent the perfect partners to actualize the brand’s potential. We look forward to seeing the future for the company in the coming years.”
This represents another successful transaction for Cascadia in the Branded Food & Beverage sector. Recent clients include Coconut Bliss, Firestone Foods, and More than Gourmet.
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