Ramping up its snacking powerhouse vision: Hershey’s second protein bar producer acquisition within a week

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

One's protein bars come in indulgent flavors like Do The Truffle Shuffle and Peanut Butter Pie. Pic: One Brands
One's protein bars come in indulgent flavors like Do The Truffle Shuffle and Peanut Butter Pie. Pic: One Brands

Related tags: Hershey, One Brands, better-for-you, Fulfil, Amplify snack brands, Euromonitor, Protein

The US confectionery giant continues to ramp up its stamp in the health and wellness snack bar sector with the purchase of One Brands for $397m.

The $397m deal was announced a week after it agreed to acquire a minority share of Irish protein bar maker Fulfil.

The two acquisitions will complement Hershey’s Oatmega grass-fed whey protein bars business, which was acquired as part of the 2017 purchase of Amplify Snack Brands for $1.6bn.

The overall health and wellness snack bar sector is racking up healthy sales, expected to grow at a 2.4% CAGR from $6.98bn in 2018 to $7.88bn in 2023, according to Euromonitor.

Strong strategic fit

Charlotte, North Carolina-based One Brands – founded in 1999 and formerly known as Oh Yeah! Nutrition – is currently backed by Cavu Venture Partners, a US investment firm that has also injected cash into brands like organic chickpea puffs Hippeas.

Last year, One released One Basix Bars, a gluten-free range of bars that are sweetened with stevia. Each bar in the line contains 20g of protein and 1g of sugar.

Hershey said the acquisition will enable it to provide “a competitive offering of brands” in the nutrition bar category.

“One’s portfolio of great tasting nutrition bars, with indulgent flavors - such as Birthday Cake, Maple Glazed Doughnut and Peanut Butter Pie - will be a strong strategic fit within our overall innovation snacking powerhouse vision,” ​said Mary Beth West, chief growth officer at Hershey.

“Our beloved confection brands will continue to be the engine that drives our business while we broaden our better-for-you portfolio, offering more snacking choices for more consumers.”

Hershey said it intends to expand the existing One Brands offering by “leveraging its own capabilities in sales and distribution, category management and digital commerce.”

“Our consumer proposition, brand equity and team provide us with confidence, especially when combined with an industry leader like Hershey,”​ added Peter Burns, CEO of One Brands.

The transaction – which will be financed through cash and short-term borrowings – is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.

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