The move by the global confectionery giant is part of its strategy to expand its footprint in the healthier snacking space to maintain its value among consumers who are increasingly focused on their health and what they consume.
The global healthy snacks sector – which has experienced a surge in sales recently, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic – is expected to tip over $33bn in value by 2025, according to Bloomberg.
The concept behind Eat Natural remains the same to this day as it was when it was founded 23 years ago by friends Preet Grewal and Praveen Vijh: handmade, wholesome snacks with an uncompromising focus on taste.
Ferrero plans to build on Eat Natural’s strong brand authenticity, while pushing its expansion into new markets and category segments.
Lapo Civiletti, CEO of the Ferrero Group, said, “We are bringing a much-loved, authentic product portfolio into our business, with a very strong market position in the healthier snacks segment. This will allow us to be present in this relevant market segment, fulfilling the evolving needs and trends of consumers.”
Under the deal, Ferrero will take over Eat Natural’s production facilities – nicknamed the ‘Makery – in Halstead, Essex, and plans to retain its management and 300-strong workforce.
“Ferrero is a fabulous company and we are proud that they would like us to be part of their family,” said Vijh.
“We have many shared ethics and both have a vision to make healthier snacking available for everyone. Like us, they pride themselves on a commitment to ingredients, taste and storytelling. We can’t wait to get started.”
The transaction is expected to close within the next few months, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP served as legal advisor to Ferrero.
Ferrero’s modest beginnings started in 1946 in Alba in Piedmont, Italy. The company has today grow into a global market leader of the Sweet Packaged Foods market, with a consolidated turnover of over €11.4bn.
The Nutella and Kinder maker has a footprint throughout the world with 31 production plants employing more than 44,000 people.