SKKY Partners, a private equity firm focused on high-growth, market-leading consumer brands, announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a significant minority stake in TRUFF, the premium flavor-enhancement brand known for elevating and reimagining pantry staples in the sauce and condiments categories. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 2017 by Nick Ajluni and Nick Guillen, TRUFF is bringing truffle-infused products to a broad consumer base through its premium condiments line spanning hot sauce, pasta sauce, mayonnaise, oil and salt. Since its founding, TRUFF has expanded rapidly from a digitally native, direct-to-consumer hot sauce brand to a multichannel food business with a growing suite of products sold online and in more than 20,000 stores, including Whole Foods, Kroger, Publix, Target and more.
TRUFF’s distinctive flavor, high-quality ingredients, new product innovation and social following have helped it build a significant base of loyal consumers and an impressive list of collaborators and accolades. Recent partnerships include launches with Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Hidden Valley Ranch, Taco Bell and The Super Mario Brothers Movie. Most recently, TRUFF was named to Oprah’s Favorite Things 2023, marking the company’s fifth time on the list. TRUFF’s hero product, its hot sauce, is a leading seller in the natural channel and the fastest-growing hot sauce in conventional grocery.
Ajluni and Guillen will continue to lead TRUFF as co-CEOs and remain significant investors in the company. As part of the transaction, Mark Ramadan, the co-founder and former CEO of Sir Kensington’s, a world-renowned condiments business and former CEO of premium chocolate brand, Hu, will join TRUFF’s Board as an independent director, alongside David Brisske, Managing Director of SKKY Partners.
Kim Kardashian, SKKY Partners Co-Founder and Managing Partner, said, “TRUFF is exactly the kind of business that embodies what we were looking for when we founded SKKY – a next-generation brand with a deep, authentic connection with consumers and the potential for ongoing growth. Nick and Nick have singlehandedly brought truffle-infused products into the mainstream food scene and built a community around the brand that will continue to be key to its success going forward. We’re proud to be kicking off the SKKY portfolio with this investment.”
Jay Sammons, SKKY Partners Co-Founder and Managing Partner, said, “We are excited to back TRUFF for so many reasons: the passionate, visionary founders; the distinctive, category-defining nature of the products; and the unique brand positioning. The business has a very strong foundation and is now at the perfect juncture for us to bring our experience building and scaling unique consumer brands to help fuel the next stage of TRUFF’s growth.”
Ajluni and Guillen commented, “There is no greater validation of the strength and potential of our business than having the backing of the SKKY Partners team. They understand our vision and the powerful connection we have with our consumers, and their expertise in growing branded consumer businesses is unmatched. On top of that, we’re excited to welcome Mark Ramadan to our Board. We have tremendous respect for Sir Kensington’s and Hu and have been avid followers of those brands’ success stories. We know that Mark’s deep experience will make him an invaluable partner to us as we look to expand our distribution footprint, accelerate in-store performance and continue to introduce new products.”
Brisske added, “We’re focused on partnering with creative founders who are building brands that have a fresh perspective. With TRUFF, Nick and Nick have pioneered a unique brand voice and created a differentiated product suite that is bringing new consumers into the categories in which they play. We’re thrilled to be joining the TRUFF team for this next chapter.”
Kirkland & Ellis acted as legal advisor to SKKY Partners. Buchalter acted as legal advisor to TRUFF. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024.