Courtesy of NOSH.
Mar. 6, 2019 at 1:45 PM
BROOKLYN, N.Y.— Pipsnacks LLC, whose nationally-distributed brand, Pipcorn, is the leader in the mini-popcorn segment of the booming RTE popcorn category, has announced a $6 million growth investment from Factory LLC., the innovation and scale-up operating company based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. While terms of the agreement were not disclosed, Factory confirmed that it will commit its full complement of resources and relationships to help Pipsnacks achieve its strategic goals.
“Pipcorn is unique among ready-to-eat popcorn brands, delivering an unmatched combination of crunch, flavor and wholesome benefits,” said Jen Martin, who co-founded Pipsnacks along with her brother, Jeff, and his wife, Teresa Tsou. “For years, our passionate community of Pipcorn fans has been asking for more, and we are proud to say that new products, including our heirloom cheese balls, (which are debuting at Expo West) will be hitting stores nationally this summer. With Factory’s help we will dramatically increase our innovation pipeline by focusing on the many clean-label snacks we can make with our special heirloom corn.”
The strain of popping corn used by Pipsnacks yields smaller, crunchier pieces than standard RTE popcorn. The uniqueness and high quality of the kernel also allows Pipcorn to be made into better-for-you versions of popular snacks. With the Factory’s resources, including food scientists, supply chain experts, packaging engineers as well as marketing and sales teams, Pipsnacks’ growth will be accelerated with the best support in the industry.
“We started working at Factory’s amazing facility the day we signed the LOI,” said Jeff Martin, who leads the family operation. “Their in-house packaging, product development and focus group resources have put us way ahead of our aggressive growth schedule, and we have barely scratched the surface of the many ways Factory will help us grow rapidly.”
Pipcorn is the fourth investment Factory has made in the past year, joining Mikey’s, Honey Stinger and Stuffed Puffs. “Pipcorn is a perfect fit for Factory,” said Rich Thompson, founder and managing partner. “Great entrepreneurs, a highly differentiated product and an irresistible eating experience. We are thrilled to welcome Pipcorn to our family.”
“This partnership with Factory will help us to quickly execute on our growth initiatives including a packaging refresh, focus on innovation and increased investment in sales and marketing,” said co-founder Teresa Tsou. Once you try Pipcorn, it’s hard to resist, and we are excited that this investment will give us the resources to get Pipcorn into more hands.“
Pipsnacks launched Pipcorn in 2012 and gained market traction with a high-profile appearance on Shark Tank in 2014, where the company earned an investment from Barbara Corcoran. Pipcorn mini popcorn comes in Sea Salt, Truffle, Kettle, Dairy-Free Cheddar and Ghee varieties and is currently available nationally at Whole Foods, Costco, The Fresh Market, Wegmans, other chains and independents and online.
Factory, which Thompson and partners founded in 2017, is a team of experienced operators with $250M of investable capital who acquire meaningful equity stakes in high potential food, beverage and pet companies that are generating $2-20M in sales. Factory pairs capital with operational capabilities to partner with entrepreneurs and rapidly build value. Based in a 40K square foot purpose-built facility, Factory’s 35 team members provide its partner companies with expertise in every phase of F&B innovation and scale-up.