KIND buys family-owned Creative Snacks, expanding nut and trail mix portfolio

By Kristine Sherred

- Last updated on GMT

Creative Snacks' Coconut Snacks and Almond Clusters have both won trade show awards. Pic: Creative Snacks
Creative Snacks' Coconut Snacks and Almond Clusters have both won trade show awards. Pic: Creative Snacks

Related tags Kind snacks Cereal bars Oats Coconut Snacks Breakfast Nuts trail mix M&A Product development

The terms of KIND's first-ever acquisition were not disclosed, but the company said it would harness its distribution network and R&D capabilities to speed up innovation for Creative Snacks.

Mars Wrigley took a minority stake in the snack bar maker two years ago, but this is the KIND's first time on the other end of such investment.

The move aims to reinforces its position as a leader in global health and wellness.

Creative Snacks will continue operations as is, while KIND confirms the precise product portfolio. Both names will likely continue selling their own branded products.

"With this acquisition, we're able to accelerate our growth in clusters, have nimble manufacturing capabilities and leverage a multi-brand approach to capture a larger share of the healthy snacking market," ​KIND told BakeryandSnacks.

Kind & Creative: complementary nuts and granola snacks

Creative Snacks also brings indulgent snacks into KIND's fold. Pic: Creative Snacks

North Carolina-based Creative Snacks manufactures an array of nut and oat products, as well as indulgent snacks such as chocolate-covered pretzels. Husband and wife Hilary and Marius Andersen started the company in 2009 under the mantra of ‘better snacks for everyone.’

After a decade in business, the company has shown “a clear commitment to quality and a unique ability to craft snacks that are both healthy and delicious,”​ said KIND founder and executive chairman Daniel Lubetzky.

CEO Marius Andersen was swayed in part by KIND’s likeminded business mentality and family-focused ethos.

“Creative Snacks has always been a family-owned business founded on something bigger than just snacks – and we believe that aligns perfectly with Daniel and KIND’s broader purpose of fostering a kinder, more empathetic world,” ​he said.

Creative's Coconut Snacks – a combination of coconut chips, dried fruit, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, plus chia seeds – have earned recognition at industry shows including the Specialty Food Association’s Fancy Foods. So have its Almond Clusters, which bring cashews and seeds into the mix.

The company recommends enjoying them as a standalone snack or as a yogurt topping, for instance.

Its products are available at most major US retailers, including Costco, Kroger, Walmart, Wegmans and Whole Foods.

KIND Healthy Snacks

KIND began in 2004 as a line of fruit and nut bars – spun from Lubetzky's pursuit of a ‘healthy, tasty, wholesome and convenient’ snack.

Its current portfolio contains more than 80 SKUs.

KIND remains majority-owned by Lubetzky and his team. It also has a nonprofit arm called The Kind Foundation, whose flagship initiative invested $20m in an online learning tool built to ‘connect students around the globe.’

Mars Wrigley hoped to nurture a 'global health and wellness platform' through its 2017 investment​ ​in the bar guru. Euromonitor food and drink analyst Jared Koerten told this site it would supply KIND with "more capital to invest in furthering its growth."

Asked specifically about future M&A, KIND told us it had "nothing to share yet, however, we are always looking at opportunities to grow the KIND business and extend the KIND promise into new categories."

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