Mars has taken a minority stake in snack bar company Kind as it aims to cash in on the growing trend for healthier snacking.
As part of the deal, the two companies will unite to grow Kind’s product offerings and business globally, utilising each other’s strengths.
The news follows on from reports earlier this year that Kind was looking to sell a minority stake, which would value the brand at more than $3 billion. According to Euromonitor, it has $727 million in annual sales.
With governments around the world aiming to tackle obesity and reduce sugar intake, food companies are increasingly seeking to adapt their portfolios to include healthier options.
The move complements Mars’s Goodness Knows snack bar range which was unveiled earlier this year and billed as the company’s biggest product launch for 20 years.
Kind will continue to operate independently, led by its majority stakeholders, founder Daniel Lubetzky and the Kind team, with its existing headquarters in New York. As part of the agreement, Mars will lead the growth of the business outside the US and Canada.
Lubetzky founded Kind in 2004 with the aim to create snacks with ingredients that ‘people can see and pronounce’. Its bars are now sold in 14 countries.
Kind CEO Daniel Lubetzky
Kind said the partnership will enable it to accelerate its dual mission to make its healthy and tasty foods available to more people across the globe and make the world a little kinder through meaningful social impact initiatives.
Lubetzky said: “When we introduced our first whole nut & fruit bar in 2004, we set out on an ambitious mission to do things differently and challenge false compromises by offering snacks that were healthy and tasty as well as wholesome and convenient.
“It’s been exciting to see the reach and impact of our mission, and with our partnership with Mars, we’re looking forward to continuing on this journey as we empower more people to make healthy eating decisions across the globe.
“We remain fully committed to our guiding principles, including our commitment to always use a nutritious food as the first and predominant ingredient in every food product.”
Mars CEO Grant F. Reid added: “We believe there is tremendous opportunity to build on the success of KIND’s product portfolio in new markets. As we continue to expand our business and broaden our portfolio to address evolving consumer needs, we’re delighted to partner with a respected leader in the health and wellness space.”
Earlier this year Kind entered the fruit snacks category with the launch of its fruit bites range. The product line, which contains only fruit and no added sugar, aims to disrupt a category that Kind believes has been swamped with products high in sugar.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020