Sector News

Franklin Foods sold to Germany's Hochland

January 17, 2017
Food & Drink

Franklin Foods Holdings, which bills itself as the world’s fastest growing cream cheese company, announced today that Hochland SE, a privately-held Bavaria, Germany-based cheese company, has acquired Franklin Foods and its sister companies.

Franklin Foods was founded and continues to operate in Enosburg Falls. It was previously sold, along with its brands Hahn’s and All Season’s Kitchen, and is now based in Florida. Franklin has taken advantage of the popularity of “Greek” style dairy products. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. It will continue to operate its Vermont manufacturing plant, which employs about 100.

Jon Gutknecht, current partner, president and CEO of Franklin Foods, will continue to lead Franklin and maintain an interest in the new venture. Franklin Foods will continue to operate independently as a wholly owned subsidiary of Hochland SE. Franklin’s strong manufacturing and sales platform in the US cream cheese market complements Hochland’s international growth strategy.

“We are thrilled to announce the acquisition,” said Jon Gutknecht, CEO of Franklin Foods. “Hochland and Franklin share a common vision around providing superior customer service, creating best-in-class products, and ensuring a company culture that strives to make a difference for our customers and brands. As a company with a successful 100-year heritage, we are especially proud to join Hochland in 2017 as they celebrate their 90th Anniversary, and we look forward to many great years ahead.”

The Franklin Foods acquisition follows the establishment of Hochland’s US sales organization, Bergland Cheese USA LLC in 2014, and marks a significant strategic step by Hochland into the US market. As the fastest-growing cream cheese producer in the world, the combined entity will allow Franklin to continue its growth and deliver on its mission to re-Invent cream cheese for today’s consumer.

“We are very excited about this acquisition,” said Peter Stahl, CEO of Hochland SE. “Franklin’s strong market position, nationwide distribution and two modern production plants offer Hochland the ideal platform for the successful implementation of our own brands and products in the USA.”

Franklin Foods was established in 1899 in Vermont, originally under the name “Hahn’s Cheese Company.” Today, Franklin Foods is the third largest cream cheese producer in the USA. Franklin sells its own award-winning brands including Greek Cream Cheese, Green Mountain Farms and Hahn’s, and private label products to food service companies and retailers.

Franklin Foods operates two manufacturing facilities in Casa Grande, Arizona and Enosburg Falls, Vermont, with corporate offices in Delray Beach, Florida. The company serves every food industry segment, conducts business throughout the United States and numerous international markets, and employs over 220 people.

Source: Vermont Business

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