Que. company buys U.S. ancient-grain snack line

A line of snack bars made from flax, amaranth, quinoa and whey protein and marketed as "made in America" will soon be "made in Quebec."

Groupe Biscuits Leclerc, a manufacturer of cookies and snack bars at St-Augustin-de-Desmaures, just west of Quebec City, announced Monday it has bought the brand, the "general concept" and the equipment to make Go Pure Ancient Grain Bars from their creator, Go Pure Foods of Fresno, Calif.

The deal "strengthens (Leclerc’s) brand portfolio in the nutritional bar segment," the company said. "Go Pure Foods has growth potential and will accelerate Biscuit Leclerc’s development while building on its reputation as an innovator."

The California company’s equipment from this deal is to be installed in two Leclerc plants. One of Leclerc’s plants at St-Augustin will now make Ancient Grain Bars, while Go Pure Fruit Bars, a line of sun-dried berry bars, will be made at Leclerc’s plant at Kingsport, Tenn., about 150 km northeast of Knoxville.

Go Pure Foods, which was founded by chocolatier Guy Debbas and fruit producer and processor Mike Watts and had just rebranded under the Go Pure name in March this year, "has know-how of the highest order," Groupe Biscuits Leclerc president Denis Leclerc said in his release Monday.

"This acquisition fits our business vision and national brand future development strategy," he said. "It’s a concept that opens our lineup to new products based on natural ingredients such as fruits, vegetables and grains."

Leclerc, which has operated in Quebec since 1905, is now billed as "Canada’s leader in the production of cookies" and also makes sugar wafers, snack bars, breakfast cereals and crackers, marketed in over 20 countries.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed in Monday’s release.

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