FOOD & RECIPES

SunOpta acquires plant-based beverage brands from Hain Celestial

MINNEAPOLIS – SunOpta Inc. has acquired the Dream and WestSoy brands from The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., Lake Success, NY, for $33 million.

The Dream brand is the No. 2 brand of shelf-stable, plant-based milks, originally launched in 1982. WestSoy is a branded shelf-stable soy beverage. SunOpta currently manufactures the entire WestSoy product portfolio, according to the company.

“This transaction is very consistent with our previously stated objective of pursuing strong organic and inorganic growth in our plant-based business,” said Joseph D. Ennen, chief executive officer of SunOpta. “As previously communicated, our interest in brands is to allow the acceleration of innovation by giving us platforms to pursue emerging or niche opportunities.”

SunOpta is primarily a private label and co-packing manufacturer, but the company also has its own brands. Sown, a line of organic oat milk creamers, was launched by the company after management identified white space in the oat milk category.

“These two brands are perfect examples of niche brands that complement, but do not directly compete with, our vitally important co-manufactured partners,” Mr. Ennen said. “Since SunOpta has been manufacturing these brands for years, when this opportunity presented itself it was an obvious fit for us to own these brands. These leading brands will receive the appropriate attention within SunOpta, along with an objective of developing growth opportunities for each of the Dream and WestSoy branded products.”

The Hain Celestial Group’s divestiture of the brands is part of the company’s transformation of its portfolio.

“We considered this business to be non-core within our North American business, and as such, this divestiture fully aligns with both our portfolio simplification process and prioritization efforts of our ‘get bigger brands (initiative)’,” said Mark L. Schiller, president and CEO of The Hain Celestial Group. “Additionally, this transaction improves our growth profile without impacting the profit margin for the remaining Hain Celestial business, providing us with increased confidence in our ability to continue to enhance shareholder returns over the long-term.”

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