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Forward Announces Partnership with Xochitl

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Investment Firm Enters Into 50/50 Partnership With Carlos Salinas, Xochitl’s Founder

IRVING, Texas & GREENWICH, Conn., May 21, 2024-- Forward Consumer Partners (“Forward” or the “Firm”), a private investment firm focused on branded consumer businesses, today announced that it has acquired a 50% ownership stake in Xochitl, LLC (“Xochitl” or the “Company”), an enduring brand specializing in authentic, premium tortilla chips and salsas. Carlos Salinas, Xochitl’s Founder, CEO, and Chairman Emeritus, will retain a 50% interest in the Company going forward.

Xochitl (pronounced “so-cheel”) began its journey in 1995 with a salsa recipe passed down in the Salinas family for nearly a century. As Mr. Salinas was exposing consumers to his distinctive salsa, he struggled to find a chip that was thin enough, crispy enough, and delicious enough to properly showcase this product. Over five years of testing, Xochitl created its flagship tortilla chip using simple, high-quality ingredients, lightly fried, and packaged in an iconic craft paper bag. Xochitl has perfected its craft over three decades and has grown steadily to become America’s largest independent brand of corn tortilla chips. Today, Xochitl’s chips are proudly produced in-house with 100% Non-GMO Project Verified ingredients, organic and non-hydrogenated oils, and sea salt from ancient seabeds.

“As I looked for the right partner for our next chapter, it was essential to find a team with the experience, ambition, and character to match the mission we’ve honored for three decades,” said Mr. Salinas. “Forward brings the vision and execution to help achieve our aspirations, and I couldn’t be more excited to embark on this journey together.”

Xochitl marks the second acquisition from Forward’s $425 million Fund I, which was oversubscribed and closed at its hard cap in December 2023. Matt Leeds, Forward’s Founder and Managing Partner, has become Chairman of Xochitl. He remarked: “There is so much to love about Carlos’ story and the brand he has created. We see immense opportunity to build on the authenticity, heritage, and quality that define Xochitl, and we’re honored to help enhance the foundation that will support the Company for its next three decades and beyond.”

Concurrent with closing, Xochitl is pleased to announce that Carl Lee (former CEO of Snyder’s Lance; former executive at Frito-Lay and Nabisco) and Maura Mottolese (CEO of Firehook Bakery; former CEO of Cholula and Tate’s Bake Shop) have joined Xochitl’s Board of Directors to help shape the Company’s strategy going forward.

Xochitl was advised by UBS and Norton Rose Fulbright. Forward was advised by Piper Sandler and Kirkland & Ellis.

About Xochitl

Founded in 1995, Xochitl is a craft, heritage brand of premium tortilla chips and salsas. The Company’s mission has always been to provide the finest products and flavors made from authentic ancient recipes. As America’s leading independent brand of corn tortilla chips, Xochitl is beloved for its small-batch offerings which deliver unmatched thinness and crispiness. Xochitl produces all its chips in-house and is proudly Non-GMO Project Verified. For more information, please visit xochitlsnacks.com.

About Forward Consumer Partners

Forward is a private investment firm focused on powerful brands that make beloved products. The Firm was created to help build enduring consumer businesses, providing each portfolio company with the partnership, resources, experience, and ambition to make progress toward its potential. Forward currently manages $425 million of committed capital through its debut fund, which closed in December 2023. The Firm’s portfolio includes Firehook Bakery, Xochitl, Via Carota Craft Cocktails, and more. For more information, please visit forwardconsumer.com.

Contact:
Media:
press@forwardconsumer.com

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