Conagra Brands has agreed to acquire meat snack brand Duke’s, as well as seeds line-up Bigs, for an undisclosed amount.
Colorado-based Duke’s makes a range of meat snacks under the ‘smoked Shorty sausages’ label, while Bigs offers packaged sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
Its buyout of owner Thanasi Foods represents ‘another exciting step in our ongoing efforts to reshape our portfolio to be more premium and modern’, according to Conagra Brands president and chief executive officer Sean Connolly.
“These on-trend brands extend our meat snacks and seeds businesses into faster-growing, more premium segments. We are looking forward to working with the Thanasi team to grow the brands further and create value for our shareholders,” Connolly said.
The brands will complement Conagra’s existing Slim Jim meat sticks and David seeds brand.
The Chicago-headquartered company spent much of the last year refining its focus to its brand portfolio, including divestments of its food ingredient sourcing and distribution company, JM Swank; its Spicetec Flavours and Seasonings business; and its private-label operations.
Its $7.2-billion consumer goods business was split off from its frozen potato business, renamed Lamb Weston, in 2015.
In Duke’s, in particular, Conagra inherits a brand with artisan appeal that makes smoked meat snacks in original recipe, hot and spicy, hatch green chile, hickory peach barbecue, and chorizo and lime flavours.
Duke’s and Bigs founder Justin Havlick added: “What started 13 years ago as a simple passion for fire-roasting seeds and slow-smoking meats has grown into two terrific brands that are recognised in households across the US.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for our brands and our team, and we are looking forward to working with the Conagra Brands team on the next chapter in our journey to take Duke’s and Bigs to another level. The Conagra Brands team values our brand beliefs and is committed to continuing to use quality ingredients and the craft methods that deliver the creativity and flavour our consumers and fans love today.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2017