About the Company
thinkThin’s story is a personal one. As busy, health-conscious single mom, Lizanne Falsetto was constantly on the hunt for nutritious foods that she could take on the go. Unsatisfied with the options she saw on store shelves, she decided to develop a delicious, protein-rich bar herself.She quickly discovered there was a large audience who shared her nutritional needs and high standards for taste, and the Los Angeles-based company has grown into a protein powerhouse that’s now a staple in stores across the United States.
We were impressed both with Lizanne Falsetto, who is an inspirational leader, and the passionate following her brand had quickly developed. Her core base of health-conscious, on-the-go women were looking for great-tasting, protein-rich food and we saw the potential for breakout financial results. Additionally, we felt that there was opportunity to improve gross and EBITDA margins by expanding the scale of several aspects of the business, including distribution and line extensions. We invested in the company in December 2011.
We worked side-by-side as a partner and advisor to thinkThin’s founder and management team, and helped with key aspects related to the aggressive growth strategies we developed together. This included recruiting executives for C-suite-level roles, as well as marketing and sales director positions. We also tapped into our deep network of highly skilled agencies to aid in selection of various creative, innovation and research agencies.
We also focused on expanding the thinkThin product within the core “bar” range and into adjacent food categories. Additionally we worked hand in hand with the team to develop a marketing plan aimed at highlighting these innovative, premium products, including protein-rich oatmeal, smoothies, and bite-sized thinkThin protein bars.
In November 2015, thinkThin was sold to Glanbia, a global performance nutrition and ingredients group that is strongly committed to innovation. At the time of our exit, thinkThin’s sales and profit were close to triple what they were when we initially invested.
During our partnership, we successfully expanded thinkThin’s bar-only product line to include bite-size, hot cereal, and smoothie offerings. The marketing campaigns we helped develop resulted in a nearly 85% increase in brand awareness.