Sovos Brands files for $100M IPO

According to the prospectus at the beginning of its filing, Sovos Brands says it is the fastest-growing food company of scale in the United States. A $100 million IPO could certainly do a lot to further speed that growth…

Sovos Brands got its start when former Mars, Del Monte and Heinz executive Todd Lachman noticed the way disruptive “one-of-a-kind” brands in the food space were routinely taking away market share of much larger legacy brands. The company, which takes its name from the Latin word for “one of a kind,” started out by acquiring two high-end Italian food brands: Rao’s Specialty Foods and Michael Angelo’s Gourmet Foods in 2017.

In the past four years, the number of portfolio brands has grown much more slowly — Noosa became a part of Sovos in 2018 and Birch Benders was acquired last year — but sales have not. Sovos seems to have been successful at finding and buying four disrupters with great potential. Rao’s — which has expanded under Sovos’ ownership from sauces into dry pasta, frozen entrees and soups — was the No. 3 pasta and pizza sauce brand by dollar sales in the 26 weeks ending June 13, according to statistics in the filing. The brand currently represents 55% of Sovos’ product sales, and the past five years have seen household penetration of the sauce skyrocket from 1.3% in 2016 to 9.6% in the 52 weeks ending June 13.

Statistics presented in the file also indicate that Noosa and Birch Benders are among the fastest-growing brands in yogurts and pancake and waffle mixes, respectively. And Michael Angelo’s frozen dinners have a 4.9% household penetration in the 52 weeks ending June 13.

While Sovos has had a portfolio of buzzy companies, the true picture of its success hasn’t been clear until now. By putting its…

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