ConAgra makes a pop to expand snacking portfolio

By Karen Willmer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Conagra Popcorn Conagra foods

ConAgra has expanded its snacking portfolio with the acquisition on
popcorn snacks manufacturer Lincoln Snacks, the company said this

US-based Lincoln Snacks was acquired by Ubiquity Brands in 2004, with Poppycock and Fiddle Faddle and carious retailers' private label products operating as the company's focal brands.

This acquisition will expand on ConAgra's current portfolio of snack brands, as well as following the company's acquisition of natural and organic snack manufacturer Alexia Foods in July this year.

"This acquisition positions ConAgra Foods to further meet consumer demand for snacks," said Gary Rodkin, chief executive officer of ConAgra Foods.

"We plan to grow Poppycock and Fiddle Faddle through our marketing expertise and operating infrastructure, and we're pleased to welcome the brands into the ConAgra portfolio."

Lincoln Snacks manufactures the two popcorn brands in its Nebraska factory and will continue to do so following this acquisition.

The company generates approximately $45m in sales annually and its popcorn products are available across the US and internationally.

ConAgra announced last week that it would remove diacetyl from its popcorn flavouring following reports linking it with bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS), an incurable disease that causes thickening and scarring of the lungs, found in consumers and factory workers.

For the quarter ended 27 May, ConAgra's sales in its consumer foods segment were $1.6bn, a 3 per cent increase on the same quarter the previous year.

However, this did not account for the peanut butter recall and the sales of a refrigerated pizza business, the company said.

Sales for priority investment brands increased 2 per cent, representing approximately 75 per cent of total sales for the consumer foods segment.

The food and ingredients segment represented 29 per cent of sales for fiscal year 2007, with sales of $913m for the quarter, 11 per cent ahead of last year.

The segment focuses on sales of specialty potato and milled grain products for the food services.

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