J&J acquires Philly Swirl

by Monica Watrous
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PENNSAUKEN, N.J. — J&J Snack Foods Corp. has acquired Philly’s Famous Water Ice, Inc., the Tampa, Fla.-based producer of Philly Swirl frozen novelty products. Financial terms were not disclosed.

With a diverse portfolio of better-for-you products and child-friendly treats, Philly Swirl generates approximately $25 million in annual revenues. Items include Swirl Stix Italian ice bars in both fruit and fudge flavors; Candy Push Popperz Italian ice pops packaged with sweet and sour candy; and Sweet Delites sugar-free frozen fruit bars. Products are sold both to retail and food service locations throughout the United States and Canada.

“Swirl has a unique product line and complements the frozen novelty section with popular niche products,” said Gerald B. Shreiber, president and chief executive officer of J&J Snack.

Frozen novelties are not new for J&J Snack. The company also produces Whole Fruit sorbet and frozen fruit bars, Icee and Slush Puppie frozen beverages, and Minute Made frozen juice bars and ices.

During an April 30 earnings call, the company said it was well-positioned to grow its portfolio through a mix of innovation and acquisitions.

“I feel real good about our abilities, and I feel good about our abilities to develop new products, but at the same time, I am pressing hard to look for acquisitions — not just anything,” Mr. Shreiber told financial analysts on the call. “Not just something that’s going to be transformational, but things that we can fit, that we can apply our resources and talents to, to growing it.”

More recent acquisition activity focused on the company’s pretzel business, which included the purchase of New York Pretzel, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based maker of soft pretzel products, in October of last year.
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