Investment Firm Acquires 50% of Xochitl, the Irving-Based Chips and Salsa Brand

Founded in 1995 with a salsa recipe passed down for nearly a century, Xochitl specializes in authentic, premium tortilla chips and salsas. Carlos Salinas, the company's founder, CEO, and chairman emeritus, will retain a 50% interest in Xochitl going forward.

Irving-based Xochitl—known for its thin, crispy tortilla chips and assortment of salsas—has sold a 50% stake to Forward Consumer Partners, a Greenwich, Connecticut-based private investment firm focused on branded consumer businesses.

Xochitl (pronounced “SO-cheel”) specializes in authentic, premium tortilla chips and salsas. The company said Carlos Salinas, Xochitl’s founder, CEO, and chairman emeritus, will retain a 50% interest in Xochitl going forward.

“As I looked for the right partner for our next chapter, it was essential to find a team with the experience, ambition, and character to match the mission we’ve honored for three decades,” Salinas said in a statement. “Forward brings the vision and execution to help achieve our aspirations, and I couldn’t be more excited to embark on this journey together.”

Salsa recipe passed down for nearly a century, but it needed a better chip

[Photo: Xochitl]

Xochitl was founded in 1995 with a salsa recipe passed down in the Salinas family for nearly a century, the company said.

As Salinas was offering samples of his distinctive salsa, the company said he struggled to find a chip that was thin enough, crispy enough, and delicious enough to properly showcase his product.

Xochitl said that over five years of testing, it created its flagship tortilla chip using simple, high-quality ingredients, lightly fried and packaged in an iconic craft paper bag. Xochitl has grown steadily to become America’s largest independent brand of corn tortilla chips, the company said.

Xochitl is the second acquisition from Forward’s $425 million Fund I, which was oversubscribed and closed at its hard cap in December.

Matt Leeds, Forward’s founder and managing partner, has become chairman of Xochitl.

“There is so much to love about Carlos’ story and the brand he has created,” Leeds said in a statement. “We see immense opportunity to build on the authenticity, heritage, and quality that define Xochitl, and we’re honored to help enhance the foundation that will support the company for its next three decades and beyond.”

Concurrent with closing, Xochitl announced that Carl Lee (former CEO of Snyder’s Lance; former executive at Frito-Lay and Nabisco) and Maura Mottolese (CEO of Firehook Bakery; former CEO of Cholula and Tate’s Bake Shop) have joined Xochitl’s board of directors.

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