Granarolo acquires majority shares in White & Seeds to bolster position in US market

US- Italian dairy company Granarolo has bought a majority stake in White & Seeds, a fledgling, local firm marketing protein-enhanced food.

Granarolo acquired 51% of the business, with a “possibility” of buying the rest of the company “in the next few years” according to the agreement terms.

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Founded in 2019 by Alessandro Ghizzardi and Federica Zanaglio, White & Seeds sells products in the dairy and snacks markets, including yogurt, bars, muesli, porridge, and spreads.

Granarolo says White & Seeds works with co-manufacturers to produce its food and generates a turnover of more than EUR100,000 (US$105,365).

Additionally, it is weighing up on whether to produce some products in plants, but they intend to integrate White & Seeds products into the dairy technologies which they use to produce their products.

Granarolo is eyeing to commercialize the products which include Conad and Sigma stock White & Seeds’ products that are yet available outside the country to the UK, France, Sweden, Germany, and Spain as soon as possible.

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For Granarolo, foreign sales in 2020 accounted for 33% of the total, which is increasing annually and the sales correspond to 8.8% of total Italian dairy products worldwide.

The US has been a target country for quite some time, Granarolo said, but the pandemic slowed the scouting operations and the finalization of an acquisition that was essential to managing such vast territories.

The Granarolo Group consists of two complementary organizations, a cooperative of milk producers – Granlatte; which operates in the agricultural sector and collects the raw material, and a joint-stock company –Granarolo S.p.A.; which processes and markets the finished products.

The group has 14 production sites located throughout Italy, two production sites in France, three in Brazil, one in New Zealand, one in the United Kingdom, and one in Germany with over 2700 employees altogether.

The Consolidated revenue of Granarolo stood at $1.43billion in 2020, a decrease of 3% (€1.28billion) from 2019. The change in revenue on a like-for-like basis (adjusted for exchange rates) of -3.1% was due primarily to the effect of reduced sales in the normal trade and foodservice channels, both within Italy and in the other countries where the group has operations.

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Last year the Italian company entered the US market after snapping up a local cheese producer and distributor Calabro Cheese Corp which generated a turnover of approximately US$25million in 2020.

The acquisitions are meant to replicate the positive performances achieved in other markets, such as France, where they have grown significantly, reaching a volume share of 18.5% of the total Italian dairy.

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