Blendtek’s Focus Today
There is a growing hunger for innovation in the food industry. From organic to non-GMO to locally sourced, people are demanding high quality foods that not only taste great but have functional benefits. Blendtek recognized this shift early and acquired the ingredient distribution division from Kissner Milling Co. in 2014 to challenge expectations and help fuel innovation in the industry. Whether it’s the basics, the next big thing, or something unexpected and inspired, count on Blendtek to come through for you – on time, every time. Innovative ingredients and innovative solutions come from innovative companies and we aren’t afraid of challenging the status quo.
The company known as Blendtek today started in 1878 when the Kissner family established Kissner Milling Co. Ltd. They provided farmers in Kitchener-Waterloo and surrounding areas with salt licks for their livestock and other agricultural supplies. With the large number of farms in the local market, the company flourished and began looking for other opportunities to expand its business. Before long they introduced water conditioning salt and a handful of other ingredients to their product line. The business grew for a short period of time but eventually plateaued due to a lack of focus on growing outside of the current market and product mix.
Many years later, Kissner experienced a change that would alter the face of the company for years to come. In 1994, Bill Zinger purchased Kissner Milling Co. and began to vastly change its stagnant and antiquated strategy. His new approach focused on rapid growth in all divisions with a strong focus on sales and expanding the distribution network in Ontario. The company grew quickly, added new product lines, and expanded into several new territories and markets. In 1998, Kissner gained distribution rights for an environmentally friendly ice melt product designed for use on walkways across Canada. This line was extremely well received in the market, evident there was much larger potential for growth. For years following the introduction of deicing products, the company experienced tremendous success and ultimately branded Kissner ice melt in 2000. This strategic decision made Kissner a globally recognized brand.
Several years later, after the Kissner brand had penetrated the Canadian market, Kissner initiated an aggressive acquisition strategy targeted towards businesses with complimentary products and services throughout the US & Canada. These efforts positioned Kissner as one of the largest manufacturers of specialty ice melters in North America. In 2010, Kissner made the largest and most important acquisition in the history of the company acquiring Detroit Salt Company (1 of only 13 salt mines in North America). A game changing event as it allowed the company to have a completely vertically integrated supply chain.
Kissner experienced years of a great success following the acquisition, the company gained attention from the financial community as result of its growth. After being pursued to sell the Ice Melt business several times, Bill decided that it was time to exit the business and retire…or so he thought. Naturally, like any true entrepreneur, retirement was not part of Bill’s DNA and within 24 hours he had taken an active interest in two new companies.
While Kissner will continue to be a key partner of ours and a great symbol of success, this is where the Blendtek story begins….
For more information on The Kissner Group and Bill Zinger, please feel free to read the article he authored in “Taxation, Valuation and Investment Strategies in Volatile Markets” entitled Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Face of Uncertainty