JANUARY 07, 2021

Flavorful Brands
Flavorful Brands

LADERA RANCH, Calif. – Flavorful Brands, exclusive marketers of Tasti-Lee® Tomatoes and Goldies® Onions in the US and Canada, today announced the completion of a Series A $5 million capital raise with strategic investor House Foods Group Inc., a top Japanese food conglomerate with substantial U.S. holdings. The agreement was signed with Flavorful Brands’ current owners – LHF, Inc. of Mission Viejo, CA., Marrero Venture, Inc., of San Diego, CA., and Bejo Seeds, Inc. of Oceano, CA. (a division of Bejo Zaden, Warmenhuizen, The Netherlands) – and the Representative Director & President of Tokyo-based House Foods Group Inc.

With this recent closing, House Foods Group Inc. joins forces with Flavorful Brands’ founding members—brand marketing experts LHF, Inc. and Marrero Ventures Inc., along with Bejo Seeds, Inc., one of the world’s leading seed companies in breeding, production, processing, and sale of non-GMO premium-quality vegetable seeds. Christopher Lindley, founding partner, President and CEO of Flavorful Brands commented “Our funding objective was to find a strategic partner with deep food industry experience and who shared our vision to ‘inspire everyone to eat better every day.’ House Foods Group Inc.’s strong presence and planned expansion in the U.S. makes them an ideal partner as we innovate in the fast-developing branded produce sector.” Jose Marrero, founding partner and Chief Operating Officer, added “The commitment of House Foods Group Inc. and Bejo Seeds to invest in our vision demonstrates the value of our unique market position and growing influence.”
Flavorful Brands will utilize this growth capital to rapidly scale and build out their existing brands nationally. It will also fund their continued work as an incubator of new products. Flavorful Brands has been granted exclusive access to certain Bejo vegetable seed genetics that are proprietary and deliver consumer preferred product attributes. Working in close partnership with Bejo Seeds, Flavorful Brands will identify, develop, and commercialize high-value, high-flavor premium produce products from Bejo’s vast pipeline of genetics. Select items will be launched into retail and foodservice markets throughout the US and Canada via Flavorful Brands’ network of exclusive growers and distributors. The focus will be on improved produce across multiple genera including Solanum (Potatoes, Tomatoes), Brassica (Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, Brussels Sprouts, Kohlrabi), Allium (Onions, Garlic, Shallots, Leeks) and Daucus (Carrots).
With House Foods Group Inc. and Bejo Seeds as strategic partners, Flavorful Brands also gains significant benefits from their collective corporate scale, decades of valuable Research & Development, and strategic relationships with best-in-class growers, distributors, and industry-leading customers. Bejo’s state-of-the-art R&D seed-breeding platform creates vastly improved seed performance in areas such as disease and insect resistance while delivering better flavor and texture for consumers. It is not uncommon for this seed breeding process to take a minimum of 8 to 12 years to deliver the desired improvements and attributes, creating a competitive moat for Flavorful Brands among rival companies desiring to introduce similar products.

”From Seeds to Smiles™, Flavorful Brands is now vertically integrated” Lindley commented. “We are uniquely positioned to capitalize on innovation trends in the complex fresh vegetable business and we will continue to prioritize addressing unmet consumer needs for flavor, texture, and shelf life. Industry growers, distributors, and retailers are all seeking ‘new and different’ products to stay ahead of competition. The close relationships with our members and supply chain partners gives Flavorful Brands the opportunity to solve for this competitive need by focusing on the consumer experience rather than typical supply chain drivers of high yield and low costs. Feedback from our network and research with consumers keeps us continually updated about the latest trends and developments.”
Marrero added “Premium-branded, high-flavor produce varieties are the future, and Flavorful Brands is uniquely positioned to deliver on-trend vegetables and performance. We’re developing unique, value-added produce products based on proven and exclusive genetics that promise consumers an improved eating experience in a sea of commoditized vegetables that, frankly, often leave consumers wanting more: more flavor, more culinary trait improvements, and more consistent quality in selecting and preparing their vegetables. This new capital provides additional resources to grow our national brands and advance several promising new products through Flavorful Brands’ significant pipeline of innovation.”

About Flavorful Brands
Founded in 2018, Flavorful Brands has the licensing rights in the US and Canada to Tasti-Lee® Tomatoes, a leading brand of field-grown, vine-ripened round tomatoes, and the recently introduced Goldies® Onions, the first “No-tears, No-onion-breath” onion on the planet. Building on this foundation, Flavorful Brands is poised for strong growth through planned development of a consumer-preferred collection of proprietary bulk, packaged, and fresh-cut vegetable products.

About LHF, Inc. and Marrero Ventures, Inc.
Flavorful Brands founders Christopher Lindley of LHF, Inc., and Jose Marrero of Marrero Ventures, Inc., have extensive backgrounds with world-class consumer packaged goods food companies, and are experts in general management, brand-building, sales, marketing, and distribution, with decades of success commercializing and growing food brands and products.

About Bejo Seeds, Inc.
Flavorful Brands founder Bejo Seeds, Inc. is a subsidiary of Bejo Zaden of Warmenhuizen, The Netherlands. Incorporated in 1991 with U.S. headquarters in Oceano, CA., Bejo leads all seed sales, breeding and seed production, customer support, marketing, and new product development throughout the US and Canada main vegetable-growing regions.

About House Foods Group Inc.
House Foods America, which has been operating its tofu products business since 1983, is a member of House Foods Group Inc., headquartered in Japan. Established in 1913, House Foods Group is a leading manufacturer of “Curry”, which is regarded as a national dish of Japan. House Foods Group focuses on the area of “Healthy Life Through Foods”, providing new value in food to customers around the world, primarily in Japan, the United States, China and Southeast Asia.

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