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Food and beverage business briefs – Hershey’s – Hain Celestial – Conagra– Van Drunen Farms– Cargill

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.

Hain Celestial completes sale of Tilda brand to Ebro Foods

Hain Celestial completed its strategic sale of Tilda, a premium basmati and specialty rice brand, to EBRO Foods S.A. for US$342 million in cash. The sale was part of Hain Celestial’s move to simplify its portfolio, strengthen its core capabilities and expand margins and cash flow.

“This divestiture will enable us to reduce our exposure to marketplace disruption associated with the uncertainty of Brexit and additional future potential foreign currency fluctuations,” said Mark L. Schiller, Hain Celestial’s president and CEO.

Van Drunen Farms tales majority stake in SouthAm Freeze Dry

Van Drunen Farms, a leader in agriculture, food science, and dehydrating fruits, vegetables and grains, announced it will take a majority stake in SouthAm Freeze Dry, a freeze-dried fruit supplier based in Chile.

The investment in SouthAm provides Van Drunen Farms, including its dietary supplement subsidiary FutureCeuticals, a competitive advantage for South and Central American fruits in the food, functional food and supplement spaces, and continues SouthAm’s innovation that is focused on the development of native herbal, fruit and vegetable ingredients. The partnership allows both organizations to enhance their access to global supply, which benefits each of their respective customer bases.

Hershey to acquire ONE Brands for $397 million

The Hershey Co. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire ONE Brands, the maker of a line of low-sugar, high-protein nutrition bars, for $397 million. The acquisition is expected to enable Hershey to provide a competitive offering of brands in the nutrition bar category.

ONE Brands will complement the company’s existing Oatmega business, which was acquired as part of the 2018 acquisition of Amplify Snack Brands, and its recent investment in Fulfil Holdings, a European leader in vitamin-fortified, high-protein bars. Hershey intends to expand the existing ONE Brands offerings by leveraging its core capabilities in sales and distribution, category management and digital commerce.

Cargill invests another $75 million in pea protein production

Cargill invested an additional $75 million in Puris, a North American producer of pea protein. The investment enables Puris to more than double its pea protein production using an existing 200,000-square-foot facility in Dawson, Minnesota, which will be retrofitted for pea production with an anticipated operational start date of late 2020.

The investment will position Puris to keep up with the increasing demand for its pea proteins, starches and fibers grown and produced through its vertically integrated and transparent supply chain. Cargill announced its joint venture with Puris in January 2018, with an initial investment of $25 million that was used to add capacity at the Turtle Lake, Wis., production facility. Puris also has a facility in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

Conagra Brands to build innovation center dedicated to snacks

Conagra Brands will build The Conagra Brands Center for Food Design in Chicago next to its existing headquarters in The Merchandise Mart. The new 40,000-square-foot innovation center is an expansion of the company's existing R&D and culinary capabilities and will focus on innovation related to snacking. The facility will combine culinary, and food and packaging design expertise in a space that enables rapid development of contemporary, on-trend products.

“Conagra Brands’ $2 billion snacks business is one of the largest and fastest-growing in the food industry,” said Tom McGough, executive vice president and co-chief operating officer, Conagra Brands. "Our strong snacking portfolio is positioned for long-term growth and we expect the capabilities in this new facility to enable us to create even more innovative products that our consumers will love.”

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