KANSAS CITY — Activity of interest in the buns and rolls category has transpired at a feverish pace over the past few months, ranging from key acquisitions with potential global implications to new product introductions that may open new doors to manufacturers.
In the 52 weeks ended July 9, dollar sales in the fresh rolls/buns/croissants category (not including hamburger and hot dog buns) totaled $2,068,897,276, up 2.4% from the same period a year ago, while unit sales increased 1.8% to 722,561,823, according to Information Resources, Inc., a Chicago-based market research firm.
Meanwhile, dollar sales in the hamburger and hot dog bun category fell 2% to $1,930,877,593, while unit sales eased 1% to 1,097,264,576, according to I.R.I.
Transactions playing role
Taking a broader look at the industry, potential game-changing moves have surfaced in the buns and rolls category for the food service industry in recent months. Most recently, Mexico City-based Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V. on July 21 said it reached agreement to acquire Chicago-based East Balt Bakeries from One Equity Partners for $650 million. Founded in 1955, East Balt produces and supplies buns, rolls and other baked foods to quick-service restaurants around the world, and by adding the company to its portfolio Grupo Bimbo hopes to fulfill its vision of expanding its global reach to better serve more consumers.
“East Balt enjoys long-standing strategic relationships with the largest and most established Q.S.R. brands in the world,” said Daniel Servitje, chairman and chief executive officer of Grupo Bimbo.
Leading East Balt customers include McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut, YumChina, Subway and Nando’s.
A week prior to the East Balt acquisition, Peak Rock Capital, a middle-market private equity firm, added to its portfolio with the acquisition of Gold Coast Bakeries, L.L.C.
Based in Santa Ana, Calif., Gold Coast Bakeries makes fresh and frozen specialty and organic bread, buns, rolls and sweet goods for distribution to consumer packaged goods companies, grocery retailers and food service customers. The company has two U.S.D.A. organic-certified facilities in California and Illinois.