Barilla Group, known for its Italian heritage and brands, is expanding its portfolio with the acquisition of the Back to Nature line from B&G Foods, a branded foods holding company out of Parsippany, N.J. With this addition, the Parma, Italy-headquartered Barilla Group will now offer a variety of plant-based, non-GMO snacks to U.S. retailers, including cookies, granola, nuts and trail mix products.
According to the parent company, the acquisition aligns with Barilla's quest to build a strong multi-brand bakery platform in the U.S. “This operation reminds me of when we first started our journey with pasta over 25 years ago and we are now the market leader. The acquisition of Back to Nature is a key step for this exciting journey,” remarked Guido Barilla, chairman of the Barilla Group. “We focus all our business activities and products on health and indulgence and hence Back to Nature was a natural choice.”
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The Back to Nature assortment fills out Barilla’s bakery business in North America. Among other items, the company currently offers the Wasa brand of crispbreads and a variety of European bakery products.
The Barilla Group is a fourth-generation family-owned business that distributes products to more than 100 countries. Its brands include Barilla, Mulino Bianco, Pan di Stelle, Gran Cereale, Harrys, Pavesi, Wasa, Filiz, Yemina and Vesta, Misko, Voiello, Academia Barilla, First, Catelli, Lancia, Splendor, Tolerant and Pasta Evangelists.
Meanwhile, B&G Foods will continue to operate its dozens of other brands, such as Cream of Wheat, Crisco, Green Giant, Ortega, Joan of Arc and SnackWell’s, among others. “Our decision to sell Back to Nature is part of a broader effort at B&G Foods to focus our portfolio on businesses that are core to our long-term strategy as we transition to a business unit structure,” explained Casey Keller, president and CEO. “The divestiture will also allow us to reduce long-term debt, while providing Barilla America with a great brand.”