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Nestlé acquires Persona in personalized nutrition expansion
Nestlé Health Science (NHSc, Lausanne, Switzerland) is expanding into personalized nutrition by acquiring Persona (Snoqualmie, Washington), a company that offers customized nutritional assessments and dietary supplements online. Assessments take into account lifestyle, history and individual needs and are generated using Persona’s proprietary algorithms. Persona will operate under NHSc’s Atrium Professional Brands, which Nestlé acquired in 2017 for $2.3 billion. According to NHSc, healthcare professionals in Atrium’s network will eventually use the assessments to help make nutritional recommendations. Persona was founded in 2017.
Boll & Branch raises $100 million from L Catterton
Boll & Branch (Summit, New Jersey), a designer and retailer of sustainably made bedding, has received a $100 million strategic investment from L Catterton. The company’s supply chain has “unprecedented levels of control and traceability, enabling Boll & Branch to offer consumers ethically conscious, luxury bedding products at accessible price points,” according to a news release. Launched in 2014, Boll & Branch has been profitable since 2016 as a family owned-and-operated business. Its products are Fair Trade Certified and contain no harmful chemicals, pesticides or GMOs.
Hain Celestial announces strategic sale of Tilda
The Hain Celestial Group Inc. (Lake Success, New York) has sold Tilda, a premium basmati and specialty rice brand, to Ebro Foods SA (Madrid, Spain) for $342 million in cash. The price reflects an adjusted EBITDA multiple of 13.5x. Hain CEO Mark Schiller said the sale is consistent with Hain’s plan to simplify its portfolio, strengthen core capabilities, and expand margins and cash flow. A portion of proceeds will be used to pay down debt.
Bega buys Hummingbird Superfoods in Australia
Dairy processor and food manufacturer Bega Cheese (Bega, New South Wales, Australia) is buying Hummingbird Superfoods (Cremorne, Victoria, Australia), maker of subscription breakfast foods such as ready-made “blendies,” mueslis and porridge, in addition to superfoods like spirulina and raw cacao, according to The Australian Financial Review (AFR). Founded three years ago, Hummingbird has monthly sales between AU$100,000 and AU$200,000 ($67,860–$135,719 as of Sept. 5); Bega is investing about AU$1 million into the business ($678,596), AFR reported. This follows Bega’s acquisition of a majority stake in online protein-powder business 180 Nutrition in February.
Supplement industry veterans shake on a deal
Supplement industry pioneer NOW Foods (Bloomingdale, Illinois) has acquired SuperNutrition (Oakland, California), a family business offering high-potency multivitamin tablets and chewables. NOW will expand the SuperNutrition line in keeping with the founders’ principles, SuperNutrition said. SuperNutrition was founded in 1977 by Patrick Mooney and his son, Michael Mooney, and has remained a family business led by Patrick’s daughter Kathy Mooney. NOW Foods was founded in 1968 and makes supplements, natural foods, natural personal care, sports nutrition and pet health products.
Cargill invests additional $75 million in Puris pea protein
Cargill (Minneapolis, Minnesota) has invested an additional $75 million in Puris (Dawson, Minnesota), more than doubling the supplier’s production of pea protein. Puris will now own and operate three facilities in North America. Using proprietary, non-GMO pea seed, Puris has a network of more than 400 U.S. farmers growing peas. Cargill announced its joint venture with Puris in January 2018 with an initial investment of $25 million to respond to consumer demand for plant-based protein. Puris is Beyond Meat’s pea protein supplier, according to CBNC.
Campbell to sell Kettle chips
Campbell Soup Company (Camden, New Jersey) is selling its European Chips Business to Valeo Foods (Dublin, Ireland), a portfolio company of CapVest Partners LLP, for approximately $80 million. Brands to be sold include United Kingdom-based natural Kettle Foods chips and Yellow Chips in the Netherlands. Campbell will retain the Kettle business in the United States as part of its Snacks brand portfolio. Campbell bought Kettle as part of its acquisition of Snyder’s-Lance completed in 2018.
Stonewall Kitchen to acquire Vermont Village apple products
Following its sale to Audax Private Equity in early August, specialty food producer Stonewall Kitchen (York, Maine) announced it is acquiring the Vermont Village (Barre, Vermont) brand of organic applesauce and apple cider vinegar. Stonewall Kitchen brands include its flagship Stonewall Kitchen; Tillen Farms pickled vegetables and cocktail cherries; Napa Valley Naturals oils and vinegars; Montebello organic pasta; and Legal Sea Foods sauces and condiments.
NutraMaize wins NSF grant
Purdue University-affiliated startup NutraMaize LLC (West Lafayette, Indiana) has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer Research grant of nearly $750,000 from the National Science Foundation for research into orange corn. Agronomy professor Torbert Rocheford, co-founder of NutraMaize, began working on naturally increasing the amount of carotenoids in corn more than two decades ago to address vitamin A deficiencies in Africa. It appears orange corn could also benefit Americans at risk of age-related vision loss because they don't get enough carotenoids. NutraMaize’s retail brand, Professor Torbert's Orange Corn, sells premium-milled grits. Funding follows previous agency and state awards of approximately $200,000.
Brightstar buys contract manufacturer Capstone Nutrition
Brightstar Capital Partners is acquiring contract manufacturer Capstone Nutrition (Ogden, Utah) in partnership with members of Capstone’s senior leadership team. Founded in 1989, Capstone owns a 300,000-square-foot facility, and produces supplements and anti-aging and general wellness products. Capstone's customer base includes global marketers, consumer brands, health food and specialty retail outlets, as well as online and mass-market retailers.
Rollin Greens raises capital to expand healthy frozen foods business
Rollin Greens (Boulder, Colorado) has raised $500,000 and is expanding its portfolio with two frozen cauliflower snacks, according to Food Navigator Rollin Greens makes healthy foods for the freezer aisle. The company's flagship product is Millet Tots, a wholegrain version of tater tots. Rollin Greens dates back to 1980 when the Cunningham family founded Boulder’s first organic food truck. In 2011, the company was revitalized by the youngest Cunningham son, Chef Ko, and his wife, Lindsey.
IQ Bar raises $1 million
IQ Bar (Boston, Massachusetts) has raised $1 million in funding led by angel investors, according to Bakery and Snacks. The bars focus on brain nutrients such as omega 3, vitamin E, choline and Lion’s Mane mushroom extract. They contain less than 1 gram of sugar and are sweetened with allulose.
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