The natural foods giant Smart Balance is shifting the location of its headquarters from New Jersey to Boulder. Even more surprising than this sudden move to the area, is their decision to change names and NASDAQ ticker symbols. Smart Balance will become Boulder Brands, Inc. in the summer of 2013 as it makes the move to Colorado. The company currently boasts successful brands such as Smart Balance®, Udi’s®, Glutino®, Earth Balance® and Best Life®. The most intriguing features of these brands are their individual commitment to providing uniquely healthy benefits to consumers.
Smart Balance is focused on heart health, Earth Balance on plant-based diets, Udi’s & Glutino on being gluten-free, and Best Lift on contributing to weight management. Boulder is the perfect location for these individual brands to contribute to longer and healthier lives for the customers that consumer them. The firm also focuses on certain core values of innovation and strong customer support which meshes well with the food and beverage community in the city. Any company that drives awareness and loyalty about healthy, sustainable food projects will likely be received well in Boulder.
This massive move speaks volumes about not only Smart Balance, but also how the food and beverage in Boulder is viewed nationally. The company’s chairman and chief executive officer Steve Hughes recently told the Boulder Daily Camera that he has “always viewed Boulder as the Silicon Valley of food.” This position was affirmed by the president of Naturally Boulder, a local nonprofit that contributes to expanding the Boulder natural products industry. He stated this recently with: “Companies like Smart Balance are drawn here because of the depth of resources our community offers, ranging from brand marketing and creative talent, to product development and finance expertise, to the ready availability of capital for smart, sustainable business ideas.”
This bold decision by Smart Balance illustrates the special environment that Boulder provides for industry innovators, especially those that are environmentally conscious. The unique support from the citizens of the city, capacity for innovation, and ability to rapidly acquire capital for sustainable products certainly justifies their decision to change locations. Last year the company raked in just shy of $275 million in total revenue, with a final net income of $9.66 million in net income. It will be interesting to monitor the change in their economic performance, whether positive or negative, in their new Colorado environment. With the success that so many other natural food producers have experienced in the city such as Celestial Seasonings and Justin’s Nut Butter, the rise or fall of Smart Balance will be worth monitoring.
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