Apple & Eve, a $250 million Long Island-based juice company that owns brands like Seneca 100% Juice, Northland Juices, Fruitables and Sesame Street Juice Beverages, has a lot of the market covered. Sesame Street pulls in children, for instance, and Northland attracts health-conscious adults because its juices are low in sugar. With a recent acquisition of carbonated juice company Switch, the firm will now hopes to win business from a coveted group: teenagers.
Apple & Eve announced its acquisition of Switch in February, and CFO Paul Rouse says integration is going smoothly (partly because Apple & Even already had salespeople, distributors, and customers in the beverage space). One factor in the decision to buy Switch was the beverage company’s measurable loyalty from customers. Switch drinks are among the top juices sold on Amazon (yes that’s right; juice sold online). That distinction is important, Rouse says, because it means students are going beyond buying Switch at school, seeking a fix of the carbonated drink after school lets out. New USDA guidelines that ban soda in schools could give Switch even more market share.
CFO Rouse is no stranger to mergers and acquisitions. As the former vice president of finance and corporate business development at Yellowbook, the directory company, he oversaw 80 acquisitions. Over two decades, he helped Yellowbook grow from $38 million to $2 billion in annual sales and expand from one state (New York) to 48.
Rouse sat down with CFO at our Rising East conference in Miami to talk about how the Switch acquisition is helping Apple & Eve grow.