Campbell Soup Company is set to acquire US natural and organic food pioneer Pacific Foods of Oregon for US$700 million in cash. The deal is the latest in a string of acquisitions that have strengthened Campbell’s offer in the high-performing natural and organic grocery space.
Founded in 1987, Pacific Foods is a leading producer of organic broth and soup, and also produces shelf-stable plant-based beverages and other meals and sides. Pacific Foods has a sustained track record of growth, and generated $218 million in net sales in 2016.
The acquisition gives Campbell’s more access to America’s natural and organic customers and channels. The company is particularly keen to benefit from the strongly growing US organic food market, worth $11 billion in 2016.
Denise Morrison, Campbell’s president and chief executive officer, said: “Pacific is an authentic brand with a loyal consumer following. The acquisition allows us to expand into faster-growing spaces such as organic and functional food. Moreover, Pacific Foods is an excellent fit with Campbell — strategically, culturally and philosophically. It advances our strategic imperatives around real food, transparency, sustainability and health and well-being. Culturally, Campbell and Pacific Foods share similar values and a commitment to a purpose-driven approach. Philosophically, both companies believe in making food that we are proud to serve at our own tables using simple, recognizable ingredients.”
“Philosophically, both companies believe in making food that we are proud to serve at our own tables using simple, recognizable ingredients”
Founded in 1987, Pacific Foods has around 540 employees and operates a certified organic plant where it produces its namesake products. Campbell plans to continue to operate Pacific Foods out of Tualatin. The company will maintain its farm-to-table approach with CEO and co-founder Chuck Eggert staying on as a supplier of key ingredients through his family farms.
Eggert said, “We’ve spent the past 30 years focused on making nourishing foods with an emphasis on simple, organic ingredients and authentic, rich flavors. Looking ahead, a future with Campbell means we can maintain what we value while accelerating growth of the brand in a way that we couldn’t do alone, reaching more people while increasing our impact on sustainable agriculture.”
This is Campbell’s fifth acquisition in five years as the company continues to reshape its portfolio for growth. The company acquired Bolthouse Farms in 2012, organic baby-food company Plum and biscuit company Kelsen in 2013, and fresh salsa and hummus maker Garden Fresh Gourmet in 2015. This acquisition is the latest in a series of moves Campbell has made to diversify its portfolio in response to increased consumer interest in health and well-being.