B  U  F  F  A  L  O    N  E  W  S


Rich Products buys GLP Free Mfg.
News Business Reporter
Rich Products Corp., moving to expand its line of health and wellness products, has acquired GLP Free Manufacturing, a Grand Island company that makes gluten-free baked goods.

Rich plans to retain all of GLP's employees at its current facility at 2409 Whitehaven Road on an interim basis before shifting that work to a gluten-free production line at another Rich facility that it did not identify.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The business, founded in 2004 by two Grand Island sisters, makes a range of products free of gluten, lactose and nuts, ranging from brownies, bread and cookies to pizza crust under the "It's OK" brand name.

Susan Daubney, GLP's president, will join Rich's as a product specialist for gluten-free products. Her sister, Joan Pedlow, a GLP vice president who also is a registered nurse and dietitian, will join Rich's as a category growth leader on a consulting basis.

"Being a part of Rich's provides a distinct competitive advantage and the infrastructure we need for rapid growth," Daubney said. She called the acquisition "the ideal opportunity for us to expand our business, with the help of another local company."

The acquisition also broadens Rich's portfolio of healthy products by adding a line of baked goods tailored for people with celiac disease, which damages the small intestine and interferes with the absorption of nutrients from food.

Gluten-free foods are an especially fast-growing part of the health and wellness foods market, with sales expected to reach $1.7 billion by 2010, Rich's said.

"As someone with celiac disease, I know first-hand what a struggle it can be to find gluten-free products, not to mention great tasting ones," Mindy Rich, Rich's vice chairman, said in a statement. "I'm excited that we will be able to develop even more great-tasting gluten-free choices as a result of this partnership."