Case Study

Chicago Custom Foods
Consumer & Retail; Food, Beverage & Agribusiness
CCF, headquartered in Chicago, IL, is a leader in branded popcorn seasonings, a category it created in 2000 with the introduction of Kernel Season’s, now America’s No. 1 selling brand with more than 20 seasoning flavors ( The Kernel Season’s brand also offers an assortment of additional flavor enhancement products, including popcorn oils and drizzles. CCF has expanded into new food categories recently with brands that include Tasty Shakes oatmeal mix-ins, Veggie Season’s vegetable seasonings, and Truffle Season’s premium truffle-flavored popcorn seasonings. CCF’s products are sold through more than 30,000 distribution points in the U.S. and internationally, including mass merchants, grocery stores and specialty retailers, as well as in movie theaters in 30 countries around the world. Its Kernel Season’s brand has enjoyed strong sales as popcorn and other snack foods continue to gain favor with consumers.
Chicago, IL
Highlander Partners
Transaction Type:
Sellside Advisory


BlackArch was retained by Highlander Partners to serve as its exclusive financial advisor.

BlackArch's Customized Solution

BlackArch leveraged its high-touch execution and deep food & beverage sector expertise to achieve a superior outcome for management and the shareholders. The transaction builds upon BlackArch’s significant momentum in the food & beverage sector and is a further example of the firm’s ability to position market-leading consumer brands.


Sauer Brands, a portfolio company of Falfurrias Capital Partners, acquired Chicago Custom Foods, formerly owned by Highlander Partners. The Company’s unique, innovative approach to revitalizing traditional food categories has cemented its position as the market leader in the branded popcorn seasoning space and provided momentum for expansion across multiple category aisles. CCF will operate as a separate business unit under the leadership of Jason Roy, current CEO and a 17-year veteran of the company. Roy will report to Sauer Brands CEO Martin Kelly.