In its new partnership with family-owned Nature’s Bakery, healthy snack leader KIND aims to make wholesome snacking more readily accessible to families while helping extend Mars Inc.'s portfolio of businesses in the health-and-wellness space.
"If you look at pantries across the country, odds are you will find KIND and Nature's Bakery products sitting side by side," said Daniel Lubetzky, founder and executive chairman of New York-based KIND. "Both brands have created loyal followings by being true to their unique value propositions. It comes as no surprise that, along with KIND, they remain one of the growth leaders within the snack bar category. We are excited to welcome them to the KIND family and support the team's next chapter as part of our growing health-and-wellness platform."
Founded in 2011, Nature's Bakery bakes its own bars with recipes that prioritize real, simple and wholesome ingredients like sun-ripened fruit and hearty whole grains to create snacks that are plant-based, nut-free, dairy-free and 100% Non-GMO Project Verified. Nature's Bakery's soft-baked, nut-free items will be a differentiated and complementary offering to KIND's existing family of more than 100 snacks, whose first ingredient is a nutritionally dense food such as whole nuts, whole grains or whole fruit.
"We know consumers love our soft-baked snacks, and this is a unique opportunity to introduce even more families to our full portfolio of snacks, baked with the nourishing ingredients and delicious recipes we have always been known for," said Chris Lansing, CEO of Nature's Bakery, which is based in Reno, Nevada.
Lansing will continue as CEO of Nature's Bakery, reporting into Juan Martin, global president for KIND. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. BofA Securities served as KIND's financial advisor and Goodwin Procter LLP acted as its legal advisor, while William Blair & Co. served as Nature's Bakery's financial advisor and Cooley LLP acted as its legal advisor.
The Nature's Bakery acquisition advances KIND's commitment to create a health-and-wellness platform as a separate business within Mars, the privately held global pet food, veterinary care, confectionery, snacking and food business.
KIND North America was acquired by McLean, Virginia-based Mars in November. The deal came three years after Mars took a minority stake in the company.
Under the agreement, KIND North America joined KIND International to create one organization operating across 35 countries, functioning as a distinct and separate business within the Mars family of companies.
Over the past three years, Mars and KIND have partnered to bring KIND (including signature KIND Bars) into new geographies and categories. KIND has expanded into such countries as China, Germany and France, and into eight total categories, including frozen and refrigerated.
“We are now well positioned to further advance our efforts and continue building a foremost health-and-wellness platform,” said Lubetzky. “As we said in 2017, Mars is a company that shares KIND’s passion for business as a force for good, and I am confident that together, we will be able to make our small contribution to make this world a little kinder.”
Since 2004, KIND has been on a mission to create a kinder and healthier world — one snack and one act at a time — by committing to being:
- Kinder to our bodies: KIND will add more than 2 billion servings of nutrient-dense foods to people’s diets by 2025.
- Kinder to our planet: KIND will exclusively source 100% of its almonds from bee-friendly farms by 2025.
- Kinder to our communities: KIND will continue to break down barriers to create more inclusive and empathetic communities.
Mars employs 133,000 associates across its expanding brand portfolio, attaining $40 billion in annual sales.