34 Degrees and Fresca Foods, Inc., Expand 10-Year Business Partnership with $3.4 Million Minority Investment and Ownership Agreement

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First and only investment to date for 34 Degrees will be used to accelerate growth through increased brand-building programs and product innovation

Craig Lieberman and Todd Dutkin

This is more than a value based partnership, it’s a values based partnership. We’re excited to continue building our business with a partner who places just as much significance on people, community and healthy growth as we do.

34 Degrees, the category-leading and innovative company behind 34° Crisps, today announced a deepened relationship with Fresca Foods, Inc., its supply chain partner of more than 10 years. Specifically, Fresca has made a $3.4 million investment in 34 Degrees in exchange for a 10 percent share of the company. The expanded partnership and investment will allow 34 Degrees to increase investments in brand-building programs and product innovation to fuel continued growth.

For the past 10 years, Fresca and 34 Degrees have been business partners, with Fresca managing product development, materials purchasing, manufacturing and warehousing functions for 34 Degrees. Fresca and 34 Degrees are both Colorado and entrepreneur-owned companies recognized as leaders in the thriving natural foods industry, one of Colorado’s fastest growing economic sectors.

By choosing to partner in this way, 34 Degrees is breaking the mold for how an entrepreneurial company decides to fuel its growth in several ways. First, the investment will accelerate the growth for an already healthy and profitable business. Second, this investment partnership was created between two entrepreneur-led, self-financed companies, whereas most growth investments in the natural products industry are funded by financial institutions or large corporations from outside Colorado. Third, the decision to partner in this way was driven by shared values more than financial value; both companies are recognized for their values-driven leadership approach.

“Since day one, our team has looked for creative ways to grow our business, from how we produce 34° Crisps to where we chose to sell our product in the store,” said Craig Lieberman, founder and president of 34 Degrees. “As we considered potential investors, we once again saw the opportunity to do things a bit differently, expanding an existing partnership with our supply chain partner rather than creating a new partnership with a financial institution. For us, it came down to our beliefs and mission. This is more than a value based partnership, it’s a values based partnership. We’re excited to continue building our business with a partner who places just as much significance on people, community and healthy growth as we do.”

“We at Fresca have a goal to increase accessibility to snack foods that are good for our bodies and the planet,” said Todd Dutkin, CEO of Fresca. “We chose to partner with Craig years ago because we recognized his energy, passion and commitment to building a successful business that delivered a strongly-differentiated product. Today, 34 Degrees is at the precipice of accelerated growth and by combining the strengths of each of our teams, the potential is boundless.”

The expanded partnership will allow 34 Degrees to increase investments in brand-building programs and product innovation. Specifically, this holiday season, 34 Degrees will launch its first-ever comprehensive national consumer marketing campaign. Additionally, through increased access to Fresca’s operations, management and innovation teams, 34 Degrees will expand its research and development efforts to further leverage its unique product form to create new flavors, products and packaging formats that fit consumer needs and the changing retail environment. 34 Degrees will continue to operate as a Denver-based independent company led by its existing leadership team and with increased access to Fresca’s operations and management expertise.

ABOUT 34 DEGREES

34 Degrees, the maker of all-natural, wafer-thin crackers, 34° Crisps, was created by people with a profound love of food and is headquartered in Denver. Made from only a handful of natural ingredients, 34° Crisps are a great-tasting and endlessly versatile companion to cheeses, meats, fruits, spreads – and a world of pairings that can turn a snack into a delicious meal. They were created as the perfect companion to the world’s favorite cheeses, but the truth is, fans love them paired with just about anything, and straight from the box, too. The light crisps, inspired by travels and culinary experiences throughout Australia, are available in six savory flavors, including Natural, Sesame, Cracked Pepper, Rosemary, Whole Grain and Toasted Onion, and four sweet flavors, including Chocolate, Vanilla, Cinnamon, and Sweet Lemon. 34° Crisps are available in the deli departments of most grocery retailers throughout North America. To learn about 34 Degrees’ mission, sustainability efforts, community giving and to find a store near you, visit 34-degrees.com. Or, for real-time conversations and creative recipe ideas, visit Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.

ABOUT FRESCA FOODS INC.

Fresca Foods, Inc., started as Pasta Fresca in Boulder, Colo., selling all natural foods to retail customers and wholesale accounts more than 24 years ago. Over the past 13 years, Fresca has transformed from a small foodservice manufacturer into a paradigm-shifting natural foods company, operating its own natural food brands and serving as supply chain and innovation partner to category leaders. For more information about Fresca Foods, visit http://www.frescafoodsinc.com.

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Elexis Schroder
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