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Private equity invests in healthful-meals concepts

Private equity invests in healthful-meals concepts

My Fit Foods, Fitlife Foods draw capital for growth

Private-equity firms have made new investments in two separate producer/retailers of health-focused packaged meals in Texas and Florida, the companies announced this week

My Fit Foods on Wednesday said Marlin Equity Partners had joined existing investor TSG Consumer Partners to speed development of the Austin, Texas-based healthful-meals concept, which has 50 locations in five states.

Fitlife Foods, with seven locations and seven kiosks in the Tampa, Fla., area, announced Monday it had secured an investment from private-equity firm, KarpReilly LLC.

Both concepts are in a growing segment of foodservice, which includes Austin, Texas-based Snap Kitchen, aimed at providing fresh packaged, portioned meals for health-conscious consumers.

David Goronkin, CEO of My Fit Foods, said in a statement, "This investment positions us to embark on an exciting new chapter and enables us to expand the availability of the high-quality, nutritious and convenient meals that our customers have grown to expect from us."

My Fit Foods said the Marlin Equity investment would help to add new stores as well as to develop a new 30,000-square-foot centralized kitchen, which will have the capacity to serve more than 180 retail locations. My Fit Foods stores offer more than 60 nutritionally balanced, portion-controlled meals and snacks aimed at a “healthy lifestyle.”

George Kase, partner at Marlin Equity Partners, said, “We are delighted to partner with a talented management team to help accelerate the next phase of My Fit Foods' growth and are committed to meeting and exceeding the nutritional and on-the-go needs of their everyday consumer."

Earlier in the week, Fitlife Foods executives said the KarpReilly investment would help the company expand to other markets in Florida as well as throughout the Southeast.

Fitlife Foods recently announced the expansion of its Culinary Center operations in Plant City, Fla.

David Osterweil, founder and chief executive officer of Fitlife Foods, said in a statement, “As Fitlife Foods continues to grow, it is important to bring in additional talent and capital to further our mission of helping more customers find their daily allowance of awesomeness.”

Fitlife Foods opened its first location in Tampa in 2011, and three years later it secured an equity investment from FLF Investment Partners, a group that includes Stuart and Tyler Lasher of Quantum Capital Partners; Keenan and Hannibal Baldwin of Baldwin Beach Capital, Gries Investment Funds; and Bahram Akradi, founder and chief executive officer of Life Time Fitness.

Fitlife Foods offers more than 60 breakfast, lunch/dinner meals and snack options from refrigerated coolers. It also features selections for gluten-free, low-carb, paleo and weight-loss diets.

KarpReilly has made equity investments with such brands as Burger Lounge, Café Rio, Café Zupas, Cooper’s Hawk, Eureka!, The Habit Burger, Kevita beverages, Spindrift and Taylor Gourmet.

Billy Logan, a KarpReilly partners, said, "Fitlife is well positioned at the forefront of how health-conscious consumers are planning their weekly menus. We look forward to working with David and his team on the exciting growth of this concept.”

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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