Sunday, April 27, 2008

Santa Cruz Nutritionals: The Gummy Vitamin Giant

"You may not have heard of Santa Cruz Nutritionals but if you buy gummy multivitamins, you very likely are a customer.

The privately held company with 150 employees produces 70-75 percent of gummy multivitamins on the market, according to chief executive officer Michael Westhusing.

So why isn't the brand more familiar?

It's the new name for Harmony Foods, which started in 1968 with a cereal called Harmony Grits, then moved into trail mixes and candy.

Second, it's a contract manufacturer, producing and packaging products for name-brand customers with strict confidentiality agreements.

Westhusing, 52, joined the company a little over a year ago, brought in by Swander Pace Capital, a private equity firm in San Francisco invested in more than a dozen food product businesses. He brought experience from Famous Amos cookies and La Victoria Salsa.

"We've changed 100 percent," he said of Santa Cruz Nutritionals."

Read the article