PepsiCo has acquired a minority stake in UK-based free-from brand Rude Health for an undisclosed figure.
Rude Health markets a range of milk alternatives including soy, almond and coconut milks, as well as breakfast cereals, crisps, biscuits and flours.
A statement from Rude Health claims that PepsiCo privately acquired a 9% stake in the company through its PepsiCo Ventures investment arm in 2019, though no details of the transaction were released at the time.
Nick and Camilla Barnard, who founded the company in 2005, remain as the company’s majority shareholders, and “remain in full control” of the company.
According to figures provided by Rude Health, sales of the company’s dairy-free drinks alone have increased 120% over the last three years, and are expected to grow to £18m over the next 12 months.
Nick and Camilla Barnard, co-founders of Rude Health, said: “We privately sold 9% of our combined majority shareholding of Rude Health to PepsiCo Ventures in 2019, after successfully growing the brand since 2005.
“This investment is an acknowledgement of Rude Health’s 15 years of sustainable growth, from a start-up, one muesli company, to a thriving and joyful food and dairy-free drinks brand offering a wide range of award-winning cereals, organic dairy-free drinks and snacks.
“As co-founders and majority shareholders, we remain in full control, with no commitment, requirement or expectation for a further transaction. We will, as always, taste-test every new food and drink, champion each business decision and continue to lead our brilliant team, ensuring that the Rude Health ethos continues to thrive.”
Daniel Grubbs, managing director of PepsiCo Ventures, told attendees at the 2019 Food & Beverage Innovation Forum (FBIF) that PepsiCo Ventures was looking to partner with emerging brands that offer functional benefits to consumers.
Grubbs highlighted products that deliver health benefits, such as immunity or digestive wellness: “Functionality is increasingly important in many markets as consumers look for more meaning from their food as well as their beverage,” he said. “We increasingly are seeing this across a number of different countries.”
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