October 2017

Originally published on Market Watch – Written by Annie Gasparro

Kellogg Co. plans to buy niche protein-bar company RXBAR for $600 million, joining other big food makers in tapping new brands to make up for falling sales of sugary, processed products.

Kellogg mainstays like Frosted Flakes and Pop-Tarts have faced declining sales in recent years. Chief Executive Steven Cahillane, who took over this week from John Bryant, is tasked with bringing the company more in line with the turn many consumers are making toward more natural, fresh foods.

Many of Kellogg’s competitors are also buying newer brands to adapt. Conagra Brands Inc. earlier this year bought Duke’s meat snacks and recently said it would buy Angie’s Boomchickapop popcorn. Campbell Soup Co. in July said it was acquiring Pacific Foods, an organic soup maker, for $700 million. And last year, General Mills Inc. bought EPIC Provisions meat snacks.

But in buying buzzy smaller brands, these giants risk depriving these startups of the identity that made them attractive to consumers. Kellogg acquired Kashi in 2000 and made big changes to the cereal maker’s marketing and innovation strategy, only to see it lose ground to newer all-natural brands.

The 25 largest food and beverage companies have lost billions of dollars in market share in recent years, consultancy A.T. Kearney said. Those companies averaged 2% annual sales growth from 2012 through 2016, compared with 6% growth for their smaller rivals, the company said.

After moving Kashi’s operations from Southern California to Kellogg’s headquarters in Battle Creek, Mich., executives realized they were hurting Kashi’s brand identity and move it back to the West Coast.

“Kellogg learned some lessons with Kashi. We won’t compromise our values, ” RXBAR co-Founder and Chief Executive Peter Rahal said.

Mr. Rahal said his company will continue running its business as a separate unit out of Chicago, but will benefit from Kellogg’s distribution, research and development capabilities. Mr. Rahal said he wants Kellogg to help his brand grow beyond protein bars and sell his products in more schools, hospitals and hotels.

The Giannuzzi Group acted as legal counsel to Rxbar.

Originally published on New Hope

Seven Sundays, the fastest-growing brand of muesli in the U.S., received a growth capital investment from Katjesgreenfood (part of Katjes Group), based in Berlin, Germany. The investment will be used to expand distribution of the brand, which is currently sold in approximately 4,000 stores including Target, Costco, Safeway, Whole Foods, Stop & Shop and Sprouts.

Seven Sundays, founded in 2011 by Hannah Barnstable, has quickly become one of the fastest-growing natural cereal brands in the U.S. Offering sustainably sourced, non-GMO and gluten-free muesli cereals in a variety of flavors, Seven Sundays packs in the twice the protein with half the sugar as a typical granola.

The company has doubled sales each year since Barnstable first received capital from friends and family in 2014 after picking up distribution in Target stores across the country. She sees this latest round of capital and the partnership with Katjesgreenfood as a major milestone.

“We are extremely excited about our partnership with Katjesgreenfood. We knew after our first meeting that they were a completely unique investor, whose commitment to providing healthy food options and sustainability matches ours. Katjes is mission-driven, progressive in their thinking from brand to product innovation, and have a strong interest in the current food revolution. Together we plan to transform the U.S. breakfast market,” explained Barnstable.

“We are delighted that muesli, the most popular breakfast category in Europe, is growing double digits in the American market. Seven Sundays is the clear leader, and we believe that its strong brand, exceptional products and focus on threading sustainability into the business will lead to long term success,” added Dr. Manon Littek, CEO of Katjesgreenfood.

After falling in love with muesli on her honeymoon in New Zealand, founder, Hannah Barnstable, started making and selling her own unique batches from her kitchen. Using real, high quality ingredients like small, regenerative whole grains, nuts, seeds, real fruits and organic wildflower honey, Seven Sundays muesli tastes just as great as it makes you feel. All Seven Sundays’ products are naturally gluten free and contain no refined sugars or GMOs and are available at grocery stores nationwide as well as online.

Seven Sundays is the first and only U.S. company to receive an investment from Katjesgreenfood, a division of the Katjes Group.

The Giannuzzi Group acted as legal counsel to Seven Sundays.

Source: Seven Sundays

Originally published on UFC

UFC®, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, today announced a multi-year partnership with BODYARMOR® Sports Drink, establishing the isotonic brand as the first-ever “Official Sports Drink” of UFC.

As part of this ground-breaking collaboration, which covers the United States and begins in 2018, BODYARMOR will supply its line of high-end sports hydration products: BODYARMOR sports drink and BODYARMOR LYTE, to the UFC Performance Institute’s two “BODYARMOR Hydration Stations”.

“BODYARMOR is an industry leader in sports hydration and they are a perfect fit to partner with UFC,” UFC President Dana White said. “Providing UFC athletes with safe, nutritional products while training at the UFC Performance Institute is an important part of helping them maximize their overall performance and BODYARMOR will help us do that.”

“With the explosive growth that BODYARMOR has seen in recent years – it’s an exciting time for the brand to team up with UFC,” said Mike Repole, co-founder and chairman, BODYARMOR. “A partnership between the fastest-growing sports drink and the fastest-growing sports organization creates a tremendous opportunity for BODYARMOR to play an important role in the hydration needs of some of the best athletes in the world.”

In addition to product placement at the UFC Performance Institute, BODYARMOR will also serve as the presenting sponsor of select UFC weigh-in events, along with providing corner branding of stools, towels and buckets inside UFC’s world-famous Octagon® during all U.S.-based events. BODYARMOR will also have a presence on UFC.com and live-event programming, as well as being integrated across multiple UFC-based social and digital platforms.

BODYARMOR is the fastest growing sports drink in its category, having seen a 110% increase in sales from last year. The consumer demand for a better-for-you sports drink has made BODYARMOR the #3 sports drink in the U.S. Kobe Bryant is the number three shareholder in BODYARMOR.

“BODYARMOR offers a better-for-you hydration option at a time when athletes in every sport are paying more attention to what they put into their bodies,” said Bryant. “UFC athletes demand the best in hydration and nutrition, and we’re excited to be partnering with the UFC on such a large scale.”

BODYARMOR has amassed a superstar roster of professional athletes who are also investors in the company, including James Harden, Mike Trout, Andrew Luck and Dustin Johnson, among others.

The Giannuzzi Group acted as legal counsel to BODYARMOR.