Bumble Bee & Nutrisystem Aim to Reestablish Brands

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Many companies in the food industry are continuing their quest to refresh their images during the coronavirus pandemic. Bumble Bee Seafoods and Nutrisystem are the two latest examples.

The 120-year-old Bumble Bee is trying to embrace the values and eating preferences of younger generations, reported The Oregonian (Oct. 17)

Bumble Bee Tuna is working on a brand refresh under the stewardship of CEO Jan Tharpe. Tharpe noted that although canned tuna represents an affordable, nutrient-dense, high-protein food, it was mostly seen as a lunch option which lost ground to away-from-home eating patterns.

The company is engaging in new media advertising to increase appeal among younger consumers, including using viral YouTube ads and a trendy campaign targeted toward millennials and Gen Z.

The company is also hoping to take advantage of the increased demand of canned goods during the pandemic.

Additionally, Bumble Bee recently partnered with food news and media website, Foodbeast, to re-imagine regional favorites throughout the country and rethink what canned tuna can be. The Bumble Bee Seafoods X Foodbeast Originals includes Tuna Melt Arepa, Tuna Salad Bagels, Tunatini & Crostinis, Tuna Street Dogs, and Tuna Hash Burritos.

Another company looking to reestablish itself is Nutrisystem, the preeminent direct-to-consumer nutrition and weight management brand. Private equity firm Kainos Capital agreed to acquire the company from Tivity Health for $575 million.

For over 45 years, Nutrisystem has provided a balanced approach to weight loss with portion-controlled foods specifically designed to meet consumer needs that are delivered directly to their doors.

“Nutrisystem is a valuable partner to its customers, particularly during the COVID pandemic when it is more challenging for many people to access affordable, healthy meals,” said Andrew Rosen, managing partner of Kainos.

The Kainos team has invested in a number of businesses within the health and wellness space including SlimFast, which it acquired from Unilever in 2014 and sold to Glanbia plc in 2018. During Kainos’ ownership, SlimFast became the fastest-growing brand in the weight management category at retail for three years in a row.

“We look forward to working with the Nutrisystem management team to achieve the full potential of this incredible brand similar to what we accomplished with SlimFast,” said Bob Sperry, a partner of Kainos.

The Private Capital Group of MSD Partners, L.P. is partnering with Kainos in this transaction in the form of a common equity investment. Completion of the transaction is expected in the fourth quarter.