The Hershey Company has made another move into the snack business. The company is acquiring ONE Brands, LLC, the maker of a line of low-sugar, high-protein nutrition bars, for $397 million.
Formerly known as Oh Yeah! Nutrition, ONE Brands was founded in 1999 by Ron McAfee. The company, currently backed by Cavu Venture Partners, has roots in sports nutrition.
Hershey [ No. 4 on the 2019 Candy Industry Global Top 100] also announced this month that it would make minority investments in two other snack brands — FULFIL Holdings Limited and Blue Stripes LLC. FULFIL is one of the leading makers of vitamin-fortified, high-protein nutrition bars in the UK and Ireland, while Blue Stripes LLC was founded by Oded Brenner, a recognized innovator, cacao entrepreneur and creator of Max Brenner, a chocolate sensory immersion.
These come after the company acquired Skinny Pop maker Amplify Snack Brands for $16 million in late 2017, and after it acquired the maker of Pirate’s Booty and other snack brands for $420 million in late 2018.
Mary Beth West, Hershey’s Chief Growth Officer, says Hershey’s, “beloved confection brands will continue to be the engine that drives our business while we broaden our better-for-you portfolio, offering more snacking choices for more consumers.”
The ONE Brands acquisition is expected to enable Hershey to provide a competitive offering of brands in the nutrition bar category. Hershey says it intends to expand the existing ONE Brands offerings by leveraging its core capabilities in sales and distribution, category management and digital commerce.
“ONE’s portfolio of great tasting nutrition bars, with indulgent flavors such as Birthday Cake, Maple Glazed Doughnut and Peanut Butter Pie, will be a strong strategic fit within our overall innovative snacking powerhouse vision,” West explained.
Ron McAfee, Founder, ONE Brands, LLC. says they are proud of the brand they built and they look forward to continuing to build on their momentum with the strength and capabilities that Hershey can provide.
ONE Brands purchase price of $397 million is approximately $325 million net of tax benefits. The transaction will be financed with cash on hand as well as short-term borrowings. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, subject to customary regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.