Liberty Orchards exploring potential for sale, merger
Century-old fruit and nut candy manufacturer sees opportunity for growth.
The founding family of Washington-based Liberty Orchards is exploring its options for its 100th year of operation.
Founded in 1920 by two Armenian immigrants, Mark Balaban and Armen Tertsagian, Liberty Orchards is now in its third generation of family ownership and management. Looking for ways to take advantage of growth opportunities, the family has decided to look at a merger, sale or private equity investment, among other options.
The company has expanded over the last century. Beginning with Aplets, made with apples from the family orchards, the company has created a broad line of fruit and nut candies, all based on the original recipe, and especially popular around the holiday season.
Besides Aplets and Cotlets, the company produces its best seller, Fruit Delights, along with spin-offs such as Dessert Delights and Pecan Delights. More recently, the company created Orchard Bars, a nutritious fruit, nut, and seed bar to meet the growing demand for tasty, wholesome, non-GMO foods.
Liberty Orchards markets its brands through a variety of channels, from large regional and national retailers to farmer owned fruit stands. The company also sells direct-to-consumer with catalog mailings and the company website. Finally, 50,000 visitors take the candy kitchen tour every year and purchase products at the factory store.
Management sees many opportunities for growth, including domestic and international distribution, modernization of digital marketing direct-to-consumer, Orchard Bar brand re-fresh, as well as cost reduction through economies of scale.