Danone has agreed to acquire Earth Island, maker of the dairy-free Follow Your Heart range, in a move to strengthen its plant-based business.
Earth Island was founded in 1988 to meet the growing demand for Vegenaise egg-free mayonnaise at the Follow Your Heart Market & Café in Los Angeles.
As well as the Vegenaise brand, the company’s Follow Your Heart portfolio also includes dairy-free cheeses, plant-based sour cream, salad dressings and VeganEgg.
Dairy giant Danone says that under its ownership, Earth Island will be able to accelerate the growth of the Follow Your Heart brand nationally and internationally.
The companies have entered into a share purchase agreement under which Danone will acquire 100% of the shares of Earth Island.
Danone expects the partnership to contribute to its goal of increasing plant-based sales worldwide from more than €2 billion in 2020 to €5 billion by 2025.
The acquisition will also enable Danone – which already has a portfolio of dairy-free brands including Alpro and Silk – to expand its plant-based offerings to provide consumers with alternatives for more occasions throughout the day.
“Consumers are increasingly eating flexitarian diets, and we look forward to working with the Follow Your Heart team to offer our consumers even more choices,” said Shane Grant, EVP and CEO, Danone North America.
“This partnership will build on our success in plant-based beverages, yogurt alternatives and creamers, further accelerating the growth of our North American plant-based business.”
Bob Goldberg, co-founder and CEO of Earth Island, added: “Our mission has always been to produce the best plant-based food products and to make them available to as many people as possible. We’re very pleased to be joining the Danone family of plant-based companies in a collective effort to bring positive change in the world through the creation of sustainably and responsibly made foods.”
The transaction is subject to receipt of required regulatory approvals. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
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