The deal to buy the rest of Hu values the chocolate-bar maker at around $340 million.


Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Good+Foundation

Mondelez International Inc.

MDLZ -0.43{960021229dc1dc07dce4932a9ddab0b26243ff9ca1f758a9c1fcae84a7a57436}

on Tuesday agreed to buy paleo chocolate-bar maker Hu Master Holdings, the latest move by an established food company to tap into growing demand for healthier snacks.

The snack-food giant, which took a minority stake in Hu in 2019, is buying the rest in a transaction that values Hu at around $340 million, according to people familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal first reported Monday the two companies were nearing a deal.

Hu (pronounced “hue”) makes a popular chocolate bar based on the paleolithic diet that is vegan and free of soy and refined sugar. More recently, it expanded into grain-free crackers.

The company traces its roots to 2012, when its flagship restaurant opened in New York City’s Greenwich Village. It was founded by

Jason H. Karp

and siblings

Jordan Brown

and Jessica (Brown) Karp, according to the company’s website.

Mondelez, the maker of Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers, has been adding to its snack portfolio. Like other food makers, it has given priority to brands with simpler ingredients as consumers’ tastes turn away from highly processed foods and toward healthier fare.

In 2018 it agreed to buy cookie maker Tate’s Bake Shop for about $500 million. Tate’s, known for its green-and-white label, uses brown cane sugar and butter over high fructose corn syrup and vegetable oil.

Hu is expected to operate separately from other Mondelez divisions, as do Tate’s and Perfect Snacks, another recent acquisition that makes organic nutrition bars.

Will the coronavirus pandemic lead to long-term changes in how we shop for food? To better understand the challenges facing grocery stores, WSJ’s Alexander Hotz spoke with an industry insider, a store owner and a Walmart executive.

Write to Cara Lombardo at [email protected]

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the January 5, 2021, print edition as ‘Mondelez Set to Buy Chocolate Bar Maker.’


Source link