Unilever acquires healthy snacks company Graze
Graze, with its broad portfolio of healthy snack products, is expected to accelerate Unilever’s presence in the fast-growing healthy snacking and out-of-home markets.
Unilever, a leading consumer goods company, has acquired Graze, a healthy snacking brand in the United Kingdom. Unilever snapped Graze ahead of competing bidders such as Kellogg’s and Pepsico, the owner of Walkers Crisps.
Unilever confirmed the acquisition in a statement published on its website on Tuesday. According to the statement, Graze, with its broad portfolio of healthy snack products, will accelerate Unilever’s presence in the fast-growing healthy snacking and out-of-home markets.
“Graze is the leading healthy snacking brand in the UK, delivering tasty snacking options to consumers in beautiful packaging,” said Nitin Paranjpe, President of Unilever’s Food and Refreshment business. “Accelerating our presence in healthy foods, this is an excellent strategic fit for the Unilever Food and Refreshment business and a wonderful addition to our stable of purpose-driven brands.”
Last year, the shareholders of Unilever Nigeria had approved the company’s plan to divest from its spread segment, which includes Blue Band margarine, to consolidate its food and refreshment business. The sale was made to Sigma Bidco, an investment company based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
“This deal marks a transformational moment in Graze’s growth,” said Anthony Fletcher, CEO of Graze. “We believe that learning from Unilever’s sustainable plan will become a key driver for the business. We look forward to working closely with the team to keep on inventing new healthy snacks, as well as continuing to work to understand the role technology can play in improving the food industry.”
Although the financial details of the deal were not disclosed, a source close to Unilever told Sky News that the company paid half of the £300 million mooted at the time when Graze was put up for sale.
Presenting his maiden set of results last week, new Chief Executive Officer of Unilever, Alan Jope, said his priority is to accelerate Unilever’s growth this year amid tensions with investors over the company’s performance and record on corporate governance.
Founded in 2008 as a snack-box delivery service, Graze provides a range of snacking nuts, seeds, trail mixes and snack bars with no artificial ingredients. It had since expanded into retail outlets such as Boots, Costco and Sainsbury’s, as well as e-commerce stores.
In 2017, Unilever purchased the natural and organic condiment maker, Sir Kensington’s, and also acquired the Tazo tea brand from Starbucks for $384 million, according to Food Dive – a US-based food industry news platform. In 2018, the company launched a plant-based organic snack food line and also started a new probiotic ice cream brand, called Culture Republick.
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