Consumers are looking for healthier snacks and CPG companies are taking notice. Mondelez International’s 2020 State of Snacking report found that consumers are highlighting the importance of snacks that enable them to lead healthier lifestyles. At the same time, a survey from CVS Pharmacy found that nearly three in five Americans are choosing better-for-you snacks more often than they would have prior to the pandemic.
Leaning into this trend, manufactures that aren’t traditionally producers of healthy snacks are making strategic acquisitions to attract consumers during the pandemic. Here are a few that stand out:
MONDELEZ & HU MASTER HOLDINGS
Confectionery, food, beverage, and snack food company Mondelez International recently agreed to buy Hu Master Holdings, a paleo chocolate-bar marker, reported The Wall Street Journal (Jan. 5). The company previously took a minority stake in Hu back in 2019.
This isn’t the first time Mondelez has sought out a better-for-you brand. In 2018, it agreed to purchase Tate’s Bake Shop, which uses brown cane sugar and butter instead of high fructose corn syrup and vegetable oil. In 2019, the company also completed its acquisition of Perfect Snacks which makes refrigerated nutrition bars and bites. Like Tate’s and Perfect Snacks, Hu is expected to operate separately from other Mondelez divisions.
MARS & KIND
In November of last year, confectionary manufacturer Mars Inc. agreed to acquire snack brand KIND North America. The companies have partnered over the last three years to bring KIND into new geographies and categories. As a result, KIND has expanded into more than 35 countries and into eight total categories, launching new products such as KIND Bark, KIND Frozen Bars, and KIND Smoothie Bowls.
“We are now well positioned to further advance our efforts and continue building a foremost health and wellness platform” said KIND founder Daniel Lubetzky in a press release. Lubetzky noted that the sale will allow KIND to take a longer view and consider new products, geographic expansion, and acquisitions.
KIND’s sales have risen to about $1.5 billion from about $1 billion at the end of 2017.
FERRERO & EAT NATURAL
Over in the UK, Nutella-owner The Ferrero Group recently agreed to buy cereal bar and muesli maker Eat Natural. Ferrero plans to maintain and further build upon Eat Natural’s brand authenticity and support the company with distribution and expansion to new markets and category segment opportunities.
“We are bringing a much-loved, authentic product portfolio into our business, with a very strong market position in the healthier snacks segment. This will allow us to be present in this relevant market segment, fulfilling the evolving needs and trends of consumers,” said Ferrero CEO Lapo Civiletti in a press release.