Laird Superfood picks up Picky Bars for $12m

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Laird Superfood has snapped up fellow athlete-focused snack producer Picky Bars. Pic: Laird Superfood
Laird Superfood has snapped up fellow athlete-focused snack producer Picky Bars. Pic: Laird Superfood

Related tags Laird Superfood Picky Bars energy bars Granola athletes Clean label

Danone-backed Laird Superfood – which was founded in 2015 by the world’s most prolific big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton – has acquired fellow Oregon-based and athlete-founded Picky Bars, producer of nutritionally enhanced products that target sportspeople and those with an active lifestyle.

Picky Bars was founded by professional athletes Lauren Fleshman, Stephanie Bruce and Jesse Thomas in 2010 and specialises in clean label energy bars, breakfast oats and granolas.

It products are sold direct to consumer (D2C) through its monthly subscription box and loyalty programme, however, the deal will enable it to leverage on Laird’s omnichannel platform that reaches across the US.

Core values of trust and authenticity

It is Laird’s first acquisition first since going public on the NYSE last fall and represents an acquisition multiple of approximately 1.2x estimated 20222 revenue.

Laird – which employs a 100-strong workforce in Sisters – raised $52m in an initial public offering (IPO) in September, which has provided the working capital that has made the $12m acquisition possible. The proceeds, which include cash and stock, are subject to a customary post-closing working capital adjustment.

The move will push Laird’s offering into product segments beyond its plant-based beverage-focused portfolio, which includes coffee, coconut-based creamers, powdered drink mixes and coconut waters, along with dried fruit and nuts. It also expects it to be supportive of its path to an improving gross margin profile. In 2020, Laird posted a 98% net sales increase, to tip $26m.

Laird CEO Paul Hodge said Picky Bars aligns with its core values of trust and authenticity, along with its product ethos prioritising high performance and sustainability for everyone in everyday life.

“This is an exceptional foundation to build on the many synergies we anticipate from this acquisition, starting with the immediate expansion of our brand platform in the massive Bars and Snacks category, where we believe consumers are increasingly ‘picky’ and seek whole food, healthier bar choices as well as sustainable options,” ​said Hodge.

“Picky also has a line of Performance Breakfast products including Performance Oatmeal, Granola and Pancakes, which are exciting and additive to the Laird Superfood morning ritual.”

“Other immediate synergies include the cross-selling opportunities across both direct-to-consumer platforms, as we believe these incredible products will resonate particularly well with our existing and loyal customer base, as well as the wholesale opportunity, as we intend to leverage our existing relationships of over 7,000 retail doors to accelerate placement of Picky products on shelf.

He added, “Lastly, we are excited about augmenting the Laird Superfood brand platform with a snack bar price point which supports expansion into new retail segments like convenience and drug stores, further extending that brand platform to yet another new audience.”

Positive relationship with food

Picky Bars CEO Jesse Thomas said the move will “accelerate our already strong growth by expanding our distribution, enhancing our product development, and creating even more jobs in our local community.”

Cofounder Fleshman added, “With Laird’s resources for responsibly sourced ingredients, we can now strengthen our commitment to creating a positive relationship with food, providing intention in both product creation and consumption.”

“Together, we can get nutritionally balanced options more geographically available, whether it’s experiencing a Laird product for the first time in a Picky Club box or tasting your first Ah, Fudge Nuts! Picky bar from a retailer distributing Laird products,”​ added Bruce.

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