TPG Growth received its stake from SmartSweets’ management and other shareholders. Tara Bosch, who founded SmartSweets in 2015, will remain the largest individual shareholder. Additional terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Launched in 2016 from Bosch’s home kitchen, SmartSweets is on a mission to help customers kick sugar and keep candy. The company has developed a variety better-for-you alternatives to traditional candy products. With 87-92 percent less sugar than traditional candy, SmartSweets’ promise to the consumer is to be free from artificial sweeteners, added sugars and sugar alcohols.
As part of the partnership Bosch will remain with SmartSweets, maintain her seat on the board, and focus on innovation, strategic initiatives, and amplifying the SmartSweets community, while transitioning her CEO responsibilities to Douglas MacFarlane, former CEO of Ontario-based Voortman Bakery.
MacFarlane is a proven business builder in the food and consumer packaged goods space. During his five-year tenure, he led the transformation of Voortman Bakery into a high-growth leader in the sweet snacking category. Prior to Voortman, he held numerous leadership positions at The Clorox Company and Maple Leaf Foods.
“I am so excited to help write the next chapter of the SmartSweets story with Tara, the SmartSweets family and TPG,” MacFarlane said. “Five years ago, Tara disrupted the candy aisle with a low-sugar, radically better choice to our favorite treats. I look forward to continuing her passion, vision and energy by working with the SmartSweets team to bring further innovation to the candy category and beyond.”
MacFarlane joins SmartSweets during a period of growth. SmartSweets has more than doubled its sales in the past year and continues to grow with key customers while expanding reach and distribution to new channels.
“The squad and I are beyond excited to welcome Douglas to the rocketship,” Bosch said. “He brings the exact combination of leadership and experience SmartSweets needs to take our innovations and our ‘Kick Sugar’ mission to the next level. While his background in North American CPG and the sweet treat vertical are incredible, it was his relentless focus on customers, culture, and teamwork that made him the best person to join us in Candy Land as our new CEO. I cannot wait to partner with Douglas to further our long-term strategy, community and brand building, product innovation, inhouse representation and inclusion work, and other strategic priorities.”
TPG Growth’s investment in SmartSweets highlights the platform’s focus on backing dynamic consumer brands that uniquely resonate with the evolving preferences of today’s and tomorrow’s consumer. Select current consumer investments include Philz Coffee, Mendocino Farms, BeautyCounter and more.