Campbell’s buys plant-based brand for $700 million

Campbell’s Soup announced the decision to acquire Pacific Foods which produce plant-based milk products last week.

The $700 million deal is intended to help Campbell’s tap into consumers who are looking for organic and plant-based options.

Pacific Foods was founded three decades ago and has delivered on sustainable growth over recent years. Sales hit around $218 million in May of this year. Pacific Foods is aligned well with younger consumers, a demographic which Campbell’s Soup are looking to target more effectively.

Campbell’s CEO Denise Morrison said: “This acquisition is consistent with our purpose, ‘real food 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 Campbell’s — strategically, culturally and philosophically. It advances our strategic imperatives around real food, transparency, sustainability and health and wellbeing.”

Greg Wank, of business consulting firm Anchin, explained to media organisation FoodNavigator-USA that this re-positions the brand to be in line with current food trends. He said: “I think the bigger picture here is the continued trend toward organic and plant-based foods.”

Pacific Foods CEO and co-founder, Chuck Eggert, will reportedly continue as an ingredients supplier through his family farm, despite the change in ownership.

This isn’t the only recent deal of its kind in the plant-based sector. Last month, retail giants Amazon bought Wholefoods for deal worth $13 billion. In the UK health food chain Holland and Barrett was sold for £1.8 billion.

The vegan industry is thriving thanks to an increased number of people embracing a vegan lifestyle and many more flirting with plant-based diets for much of the time. A recent study claimed there to be around 19 million people in the US who identify as vegan.

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