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Sprout Nutrition And Crossmark Partner For Growth

Sprout Nutrition (formerly Sprout Organic Foods) and Crossmark Inc. have partnered to bring organic whole foods to babies, toddlers and all family members. The partnership gives Sprout expanded category presence and broad access to retailers with consumer insight capabilities while broadening Crossmark’s presence within the baby and organic family snack categories.

With this agreement, Sprout is investing to drive growth of the Sprout brand nationally. The companies say Sprout gains a salesforce with a solid track record in the organic space and access to more than 5,500 retail merchandisers across the country. In turn, retailers will benefit from collaborative planning to bring innovation and category/shopper insights to the rapidly growing organic segment of the baby category.

The partnership with Crossmark is part of a major new brand investment by Sprout, which is under new ownership of private equity firm North Castle Partners, and has a new CEO, Rick Klauser, a 10-year veteran of Gerber.

The brand revitalization began earlier this year with a packaging graphic redesign, the launch of 15 new products and a major marketing investment to drive retailer and baby category growth. Sprout also plans to build on its momentum by adding new items in the fall, including Sprout Smash, an Organic Fruit Puree snack expanding the brand into the squeezable snack category.

“Securing national distribution and strong retailer partnerships are both strategic priorities for us. Our new relationship with Crossmark represents a significant building block to achieve this important milestone,” Klauser said. “Organic baby food is a Millennial mom’s expectation for what’s best for her baby. Parents are setting a higher bar for product quality and clean, honest labeling. It’s no surprise that this would influence the expectations parents have for premium organic purees that we deliver through our Honesty Pledge: Non-GMO, Only Whole Fruits & Vegetables—never concentrates, preservatives fillers or thickeners—and transparent labeling.”

“Crossmark is honored to work alongside Sprout as they continue to grow and set the standard in organics. Our analytics capabilities and retail representation across the country will help Sprout drive an increasing presence nationwide as they bring ‘real, honest and pure’ products to market and give parents increasing confidence in their choices,” said Crossmark CEO Steve Schuckenbrock. “This partnership is a win-win.”

Crossmark is majority owned by Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm headquartered in Plano, Texas.

About the author



An 11-year employee of The Shelby Report who writes for and about food. In previous lives, she worked at a police department in Texas and an amusement park in Arkansas. She also was a newspaper publisher for more than a decade. Not sure which of those qualified her for this job.

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