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F&B business briefs – Coca-Cola, ConAgra, Hain Celestial, Danone

Who said hump day must be boring? Each Wednesday INSIDER gives you the 411 on the latest business moves affecting the food and beverage product development space.

Coca-Cola set to enter coffee, energy drinks markets

During its April 23 first quarter earnings call, Coca-Cola announced it completed its acquisition of Costa Ltd., which gives Coca-Cola a significant entry point into hot beverages and a global platform in coffee. In the second quarter, the company will begin to leverage Costa’s scalable platform across formats and channels with the introduction of Costa ready-to-drink (RTD) products. Coca-Cola also closed its acquisition of CHI Ltd., an innovative, fast-growing leader in expanding beverage categories in West Africa, including juices, value-added dairy and iced tea.

Hain Celestial sells WestSoy tofu, seitan and tempeh businesses

The Hain Celestial Group Inc. completed its sale of WestSoy® tofu, seitan and tempeh businesses to Keystone Natural Holdings, a portfolio company of Keystone Capital focusing on plant-based foods. The divestiture did not include the WestSoy® plant-based beverage business, which has been retained by Hain Celestial. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“This brand divestiture is in-line with the core objectives of our transformational strategic plan to reduce complexity and streamline our portfolio of brands to drive sustainable growth and shareholder value,” said Mark L. Schiller, Hain Celestial’s president and chief executive officer.

Conagra Brands to divest Gelit frozen pasta business

Conagra Brands Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to divest its Italian-based frozen pasta business Gelit to an Italian investment company owned by Consilum SGR S.p.A., Progressio SGR S.p.A., and MMM S.r.l. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and includes the sale of Conagra Brand’s entire equity interest in Gelit S.r.l. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Post to acquire Treehouse Foods RTE cereal business

Post Holdings Inc. has agreed to acquire the private label ready-to-eat (RTE) cereal business of TreeHouse Foods, a leading private label RTE cereal manufacturer, for an undisclosed amount. The transaction is expected to be completed in the 3Q19, subject to customary closing conditions. Upon closing of the acquisition, Post expects the TreeHouse RTE cereal business will be included in Post’s existing North American RTE cereal business, Post Consumer Brands, which is the third-largest cereal company in the United States.

Danone North America launches grant program for sustainable foods

Danone Institute North America, a not-for-profit established by Danone North America, launched One Planet. One Health Initiative that will award up to $90,000 in grants to four selected teams to foster transdisciplinary, community-based work to promote sustainable food systems. The grant will provide seed funding for projects such as pilot studies, feasibility testing, needs assessments and planning grants. The call for entries is open through June 1, 2019.

In addition, the four chosen teams will attend a four-day program in Boulder, Colorado, that will include training on sustainable food systems from experts in sustainability, implementation science, communication, nutrition, and economics, as well as presentations and panels involving community leaders such as farmers, retailers, corner store owners, WIC leaders and other stakeholders in the sustainability food ecosystem.

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