KEEN Takes Stake in The Jersey Tomato Co

7/12/17

ORLANDO, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–KEEN Growth Capital, a leading early-stage venture fund focused on better-for-you food and wellness brands, today announced the acquisition of a material interest in the ownership of The Jersey Tomato Co., maker of premium tomato sauces and salsas. This acquisition is part of KEEN’s new fund designed to make greater social impact in the areas of nutritional well-being, disease mitigating and life enhancing science and technology and sensible environmental impact.

The Jersey Tomato Co. was founded in 2015 as Two Guys Jersey Tomato Sauce. KEEN led a consumer research and rebranding initiative as part of the new partnership. The brand has been repositioned to focus on the New Jersey Tomato, which has been respected as the best worldwide since 1934. The Jersey Tomato Co. is positioned in the white space of tomato products – with the tomato’s point of origin as the primary point of difference. KEEN internally developed the new brand platform, messaging and go-to-market strategies. The new tag line for the company is “All Natural. All Jersey. All Good.™”

Nationwide Retail Penetration Including Kroger

Since the rebranding, The Jersey Tomato Co. has expanded placement at major retailers. Kroger will bring two to three tomato sauce varieties into its family of stores nationwide starting in July. Later this summer, the company’s products will be available at thousands of points of distribution nationally, including Whole Foods Market, Fairway, Shoprite and others.

New Product Pipeline

The Jersey Tomato Co. is developing new sauce flavors, a line of salsas and a new pizza sauce, expanding its portfolio of premium New Jersey tomato products. More new products are in the pipeline for 2018.

“The Jersey Tomato Co. has wide appeal, positioning the premium taste attributes of the Jersey tomato as the San Marzano tomato of America,” said Jerry Bello, Managing Partner at KEEN Growth Capital. “KEEN’s partnership with The Jersey Tomato Co. demonstrates our ability to identify brands with great potential in the better-for-you food space.”

Jonathan Smiga, Managing Partner of KEEN Growth Capital added, “KEEN is thrilled to partner with The Jersey Tomato Co. and founder Dave Stoff. Our hands-on expertise and market access quickly create strategic focus and deliver above market returns for stakeholders. We love helping Dave see his dreams become a reality.”

“Kroger is a fantastic retail partner, who believes in the premium, better-for-you qualities of our products,” said Dave Stoff, Founder and CEO of The Jersey Tomato Co. “Thanks to Kroger, shoppers across the U.S. will be able to enjoy the outstanding farm fresh flavor and naturally lower sodium of sauces from The Jersey Tomato Co. We look forward to growing the relationship with Kroger and other retailers across America.”

Key attributes of The Jersey Tomato Co. Sauces and Salsas:

Jersey Fresh Made 100% New Jersey Tomatoes – Every product is proudly stamped with the Jersey Fresh logo, certified by the State of New Jersey.

Farm Fresh Flavor – Healthy, fresh ingredients that burst with freshness and all-natural flavor.

Naturally Lower Sodium – 60% lower sodium that other leading tomato sauce and salsa brands.

No Added Sugar – The natural flavors shine through without the addition of sugar and calories.

Craft Preparation – The Jersey Tomato Co. products are cooked in small batches.

All Natural. All Jersey. All Good. – Delicious, natural flavor that is also a healthy food.

About KEEN Growth Capital

KEEN Growth Capital invests in early stage food-related companies that generate meaningful social impact in addition to above market financial returns. KEEN has particular focus on healthy snacking, functional foods and patented, science backed companies that positively impact consumer health, environmental and community wellness, and long term disease mitigation. Keen’s infusion of intellectual and financial capital delivers enriched outcomes for all stakeholders while creating a healthier world. KEEN is based in Orlando. Ideas welcome everywhere. Visit KEENGrowthCaptial.com for more.

About The Jersey Tomato Co.

All Natural. All Jersey. All Good. The Jersey Tomato Co. sauces & salsas are made with 100% premium New Jersey tomatoes and healthy, fresh ingredients. Five delicious flavors of tomato sauce, two salsas & a pizza sauce, are all bursting with farm fresh flavor & naturally lower sodium – 60% lower sodium then other leading brands. Follow The Jersey Tomato Co. in social media and visit JerseyTomatoCo.com for more.

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