Partnering with Management to Grow in Higher-Margin Protein Solutions
“We like customer-focused businesses like Stampede. They’re differentiated industry leaders with a strong management team that knows growth depends on continually exceeding customer needs and expanding the base.”– John Hatherly, Managing Partner, Wynnchurch
Since its founding in 1995, Bridgeview, Illinois-based Stampede Meat has built its business on protein solutions, specializing in portioned, marinated and cooked beef, chicken, and other products for a variety of channels in food service. Strengths include an industry-leading culinary R&D team; unique, proprietary safety processes; and a strategic production footprint with three processing plants and a cold storage facility, all located in the Chicago metro area.
Stampede has an experienced management team with an excellent track record of growth. That team was looking for the right investment partner to support their vision for the next phase of growth: higher-margin value-added cooked proteins. Stampede chose Wynnchurch.
An Opportunity to Move Up the Value Chain
We agreed with the Stampede management team that there was a significant growth opportunity in value-added protein solutions, with demand for cooked products forecasted to outstrip traditional value-added beef across key food service segments. We acquired a majority position in the company in June of 2017, with the management team and other investors taking a minority stake.
Building the Company For Expansion
After closing the transaction, Wynnchurch supported a strategy for operational improvement that included hiring a new COO, implementing a new Enterprise Resource Planning system and investing in increased automation. Stampede is capturing savings and productivity opportunities in maintenance, repair and operations (MRO), freight and facility services, among other key areas.
Concurrently, we are collaborating with the Stampede team to drive future growth by increasing capacity, product breadth and national scale in cooked products through acquisitions. With a new sales VP, Stampede is also aggressively pursuing organic expansion, with opportunities that include adding customers in core family dining and fast casual segments, growing non-beef protein volumes, and diversifying into quick serve and other channels.