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Campbell Soup Bolsters Healthy Footprint with Pacific Foods Acquisition

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by Judie Bizzozero -

Campbell Soup Co. has entered an agreement to acquire Pacific Foods for $700 million in cash. The deal, Campbell’s fifth acquisition in five years, is the latest in a series of moves it’s made to diversify its portfolio in response to increased consumer interest in health and well-being. The company acquired Bolthouse Farms in 2012 for $1.55 billion, and Plum Organics baby foods and biscuit company Kelsen in 2013, and fresh salsa and hummus maker Garden Fresh Gourmet in 2015.

Founded in 1987, Pacific Foods is a natural foods industry pioneer that has strong health and well-being and organic credentials, particularly with younger consumers. The addition of the Pacific Foods portfolio of organic broths and soups, shelf-stable plant-based beverages, and other meals and sides will accelerate Campbell’s efforts to deliver real food and beverages that meet consumers’ changing tastes and preferences. The acquisition also will bolster Campbell’s efforts to drive innovation in health and well-being to reinvent the center store, while giving the company more access to natural and organic customers and channels.

Campbell’s President and CEO Denise Morrison said, “This acquisition is consistent with our Purpose, ‘Real food that matters for life’s moments.’ Pacific is an authentic brand with a loyal consumer following. The acquisition allows us to expand into faster-growing spaces such as organic and functional food. Moreover, Pacific Foods is an excellent fit with Campbell—strategically, culturally and philosophically. It advances our strategic imperatives around real food, transparency, sustainability and health and well-being. Culturally, Campbell and Pacific Foods share similar values and a commitment to a purpose-driven approach. Philosophically, both companies believe in making food that we are proud to serve at our own tables using simple, recognizable ingredients."

Campbell expects to expand distribution; boost marketing support for brand building to engage consumers and shoppers; and invest in R&D and the supply chain to deliver operations and customer service excellence.

Pacific Foods will become part of Campbell’s Americas Simple Meals and Beverages division, which includes Campbell’s soup, simple meals and shelf-stable beverage units in the United States, Canada and Latin America. The division is led by Mark Alexander, president, and includes many leading brands including Campbell’s, V8, Swanson, Prego, Pace and Plum Organics.

Pacific Foods will continue to operate out of its certified-organic facility in Tualatin, Oregon. The company will maintain its farm-to-table approach with CEO and Co-founder Chuck Eggert staying on as a supplier of key ingredients through his family farms.

“We’ve spent the past 30 years focused on making nourishing foods with an emphasis on simple, organic ingredients and authentic, rich flavors. Looking ahead, a future with Campbell means we can maintain what we value while accelerating growth of the brand in a way that we couldn’t do alone, reaching more people while increasing our impact on sustainable agriculture," Eggert said.

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