News snacks: Analyzing business trends in the bakery and snacks industries

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: GettyImages/Shaf Bdn
Pic: GettyImages/Shaf Bdn

Related tags Business Mergers & Acquisitions ESG Strategy growth

From mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to creating new long-term ESG goals and reporting on others, along with a hard stop when it comes to crime, we look at some of the business deals shaping the bakery and snacks landscape.

The best outcome for both companies


US bakery wholesaler Engelman’s Baking Co. has finalized its acquisition of St. Armands Baking Company, which will create significant commercial opportunities for both businesses.

St. Armands began as a small retail cake and pastry shop in the West Central, Florida, district known as St. Armands Key. It was purchased by the Vroom family in 1981, who ramped up production into a wholesale operation to provide fresh and frozen bakery products.

“Since 1981, our employees, customers and suppliers have transformed St. Armands from a mom-and-pop bakery into the company it is today, serving thousands of customers with quality organic and specialty breads,” said owner Bernard Vroom.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Engelman’s. Both companies have similar backstories and share the same high standards. Strategically, we will be able to expand our footprint in the Southeast and beyond.”

Rob athy, CEO for Georgia-headquartered Engelman’s - which has been developing fresh and frozen bread products for the US retail and foodservice channels since 1982 – believes the amalgamation will bring “together the exceptional talent and culture that both companies share,” while expanding its product portfolio and better serving customers.

Hyde Park Capital served as the exclusive investment banker to St. Armands for this transaction.

“Their industry expertise, guidance and perseverance were essential in the process of separating the wheat from the chaff, landing the best outcome for me, my employees and my company,” said Vroom.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Renewed growth strategy for J. Skinner

Stellex Capital Management’s acquisition of J. Skinner Baking will support investment into production capacity expansion, increased automation and new product development.

Founded in 1983 and today, one of the largest instore bakery providers in the US, Nebraska-based J. Skinner produces ready-to-eat (RTE) bakery for the ISB channel, along with foodservice providers and co-pack partnerships. It currently sells products in over 30,000 retail locations across all 50 US states.

“Stellex has supported J. Skinner with significant incremental day-one capital and liquidity to enable our aggressive expansion plans,” said J. Skinner CEO Audie Keaton.

“This partnership will seek to strengthen our existing operations, support the company’s long-term growth agenda, drive sustainability and bring value to employees, the Omaha community and our nationwide customer base.”

The bakery manufacturer has also appointed veteran bakery operator Doug Davidson as president and COO to drive the new strategy.

Beneo gets a new lead

BENEO_Olivier Roques_Agrana
Olivier Roques

Olivier Roques stepped into the role of CEO and joined the for the functional ingredients specialist at the beginning of June.

Roques brings more than three decades of experience within the international ingredients industry to his new role, most recently as CEO of Agrana Fruit Europe.

In addition to being CEO, he will also oversee all the company’s sales and marketing as chief sales officer. His appointment comes at a pivotal time with Beneo ramping up its plant-based portfolio.

“The portfolio supports the company’s purpose to contribute to better nutrition and health,” said Roques.

“We will continue to create strategic partnerships with our customers around the globe and adapt to their market needs. Our customers value both the sound science supporting our ingredients, as well as the expert knowhow and quality we offer them along the entire value chain.”

‘Doing what’s right’: ofi announces new 2030 targets

Pic: ofi

The Choices for Change strategy is designed to deliver long-term impact across four critical pillars – Prosperous Farmers, Thriving Communities, Climate Action and Regenerating the Living World – including:

  • Delivering enhanced livelihood support to one million farmers to be more productive and deliver better quality ingredients.
  • Cutting Scope 3 emissions by 30% to offer customers verifiable, low-carbon products and ingredients and contribute to net-zero commitments.
  • Bringing 2 million hectares of land under regenerative farming practices to create long-term farm resilience and products with verified positive natural impact.
  • Giving customers more rigorous, verifiable data for sustainability decision making and reporting by bringing together traceability, data insights, risk mitigation, verification and indepth supplier engagement.

“Choices for Change is the next phase in our journey, building upon and reinforcing years of experience in managing sustainability programs spanning hundreds of farming communities,” said chief sustainability officer Roel van Poppel.

“Our team of over 500 sustainability experts from Côte d’Ivoire to Brazil, from Vietnam to Ghana, bring a deep understanding of and capability to solve some of the key environmental and humanitarian challenges in the food system. We offer our customers and partners the traceability, insights, capability, and choices to drive positive change.”   

Added CEO A. Shekhar, ““We know that doing what’s right for communities and the planet is even more critical to our long-term commercial imperative to deliver the highest quality of food ingredients and solutions to our customers.

“It equips them with a powerful provenance narrative for their consumers, the people who enjoy delicious, high-quality and sustainable food and beverage products every day around the world.”

Strong progress amid challenges

PepsiCo agriculture

PepsiCo has published its latest progress report on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) results.

In 2023, the snacking giant achieved some goals ahead of schedule and made strong progress on others. However, its packaging goals continue to present challenges, it said.

Progress includes:

  • Reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 13% and total Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 5% year over year;
  • Reducing use of virgin plastic derived from non-renewable sources by 4% year over year;
  • Doubling its global regenerative farming footprint to more than 1.8 million acres;
  • Recording a 25% improvement in water-use efficiency at high water-risk company-owned locations when compared to a 2015 baseline – reaching this goal two years ahead of schedule;
  • Helping more than 10 million people gain access to safe water, bringing the total to more than 91 million since 2006.
  • Reducing sodium (in 2023, was at or below these new sodium targets) and delivering 75 billion portions of diverse ingredients.

“This is all to be celebrated, however, the road ahead will continue to present challenge,” said chief sustainability officer Jim Andrew.

“We continue assessing where to devote time and resources to deliver meaningful impact and ensure we are focusing our efforts. Building strong and strategic partnerships with other scale players and adopting and scaling breakthrough technologies are central to our strategy.”

UK bakers get serious about theft

Bakers Basco poster 2

Bakers Basco – the cooperative venture established by Allied Bakeries, Fine Lady Bakeries, Frank Roberts & Sons, Hovis, and Warburtons to manage its equipment – has partnered with the charity Crimestoppers to assist in their national awareness campaign aimed at tackling the illegal theft of bakery delivery equipment.

The collab marks a significant step in Bakers Basco's ongoing efforts to protect its essential delivery assets. The Omega bread baskets and dollies are crucial for the efficient transportation of fresh bakery products to retailers across the country. However, they’re often targeted by thieves and sold to plastic recyclers.

Making them particularly attractive is the use of sturdy polypropylene, which is meant to be reusable for up to eight years. The baskets are categorised as ‘Reusable Transit Packaging’, meaning it’s meant to be reused repeatedly and not discarded after one trip or dumped in landfill sites.

 “The theft of our bakery equipment not only affects our business but also disrupts the supply chain, ultimately impacting consumers,” said Bakers Basco national investivations manager Stacey Brown.

“Through this campaign, we hope to educate the public about the importance of protecting these assets and encourage them to report any criminal activities involving them.W

Added David Crawley, director of Business Growth and Fundraising for Crimestoppers, “This partnership underscores our commitment to helping businesses protect their assets, maintain the integrity of their operations and reduce the level of crime that impacts them. We urge anyone with information about these thefts to tell Crimestoppers what they know, 100% anonymously, by telephone or via our secure online form.”

Related news

Follow us


View more