This TreeHouse is stocked. A manufacturer, TreeHouse Foods is the nation's #1 producer of non-dairy powdered creamer, sold under the Cremora brand. The company's offerings include brand name pickles (Farman's, Nalley's, Peter Piper, and Steinfeld), and private-label soups, salad dressings and Mexican sauces, drink mixes, hot cereals, macaroni and cheese, skillet dinners, and jams. TreeHouse makes private label products for foodservice distributors and restaurant chains, and retailers, such as supermarkets and mass merchandisers -- the company's largest market that also buys its own brands. TreeHouse has some co-pack business and industrial customers. The US and Canada account for more than 85% of its sales.
TreeHouse has grown by strengthening ties with retail grocers who are demanding private label food products as cash-strapped consumers seek goods with equivalent quality at a lower price. Well-positioned, the company's largest customer is Wal-Mart, which accounted for almost 20% of TreeHouse's sales in 2011. Net sales during the year marked a five-year high, climbing more than 10% over the previous year, fueled mainly by the North American retail grocery market. The "food away from home" market (restaurants) slumped slightly, reflecting the down economy. Despite rising raw materials costs, TreeHouse also posted a modest increase in profits.
To maintain momentum, the food maker focuses on the most-purchased categories of private label products, typically canned soup, salad dressings, powdered creamer, and pickles. Acquisitions have enabled TreeHouse to expand its production capacity and breadth of food products, capturing an ever greater amount of retail shelf space. In 2012 the company acquired Naturally Fresh, a privately owned maker of refrigerated dressings, sauces, dips, and marinades. The $25 million deal is poised to take TreeHouse from the shelf-stable grocery aisle to the refrigerated produce section, providing a premium presence.
The agreement follows two significant purchases in 2010. TreeHouse acquired Sturm Foods, a maker of private-label hot cereal and powdered soft drink mixes from HM Capital Partners for $660 million. The move strengthened TreeHouse's private-label operations as well as its packaging, mixing, and flavoring capabilities. Extending its reach in shelf-stable foods, TreeHouse bought out S.T. Specialty Foods from Windjammer Capital Investors in an all-cash deal valued at about $180 million. S.T. Specialty Foods primarily makes private-label macaroni and cheese and skillet dinners, mainstream staples of the dine-at-home consumer. – less