Kar’s Nuts, Sanders Chocolates parent, changes name

The business that also makes Second Nature Snacks is on a growth trajectory,…

Kar's Nuts, Sanders Chocolates parent, changes name 1
Kar's Nuts, Sanders Chocolates parent, changes name 2

Breana Noble
 
| The Detroit News

Kar’s Nuts, the maker of Sweety ‘N Salty trail mix and Sanders Chocolates, is changing its name to Second Nature Brands as the Madison Heights snack food company seeks to broaden its portfolio and position itself with better-for-you offerings.

The business that also makes gluten-free, non-GMO Second Nature trail mixes is on a growth trajectory, its CEO says. It is expanding its capacity, introducing more than 25 new products this year alone and investigating acquisitions and investment opportunities.

“Over more than 140 years, our heritage brands — while all made in Michigan — have built a strong national reputation for making snacks and treats that people love,” CEO Victor Mehren said Tuesday in a statement. “Under the Second Nature Brands umbrella, our market-leading brands are positioned for accelerated growth.”

Although demand for its traditional lineup of Sanders Bumpy Cakes and dessert toppings and Kar’s trail mix have increased, Second Natures is investing more than 50% of its resources in innovations like new product development and production infrastructure, Mehren added.

The new offerings and formulations such as Kar’s savory Snack Max line, Second Nature Smart Mixes, Sanders Organic Dairy-free Sea Salt Caramels and Sanders Seas Salt Caramel Thins follow consumer trends toward “nutritionally conscious snacking and permissible indulgence,” according to the company.

Second Nature also has placed greater emphasis on its online retail platform. In June, it permanently closed four Sanders Chocolate & Ice Cream Shoppes in Metro Detroitamid the COVID-19 pandemic-induced shutdowns. Two company-operated stores in Rochester and Clinton Township remain.

There at the Macomb Country location, Second Nature continues to build out an innovation center next door that will feature a recipe development lab and allow consumers to test products even before they hit shelves nationally.

The company employs more than 350 people mostly in Metro Detroit after Kar’s Nuts acquired Sanders in 2018. It operates factories for snack foods in Madison Heights and candy in Clinton Township.

bnoble@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble

Our special thanks to:detroitnews.com

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