INDIA – ITC Limited, an Indian conglomerate, has acquired Sproutlife Foods Private Limited as part of its strategy to grow its healthy foods portfolio and also to “rapidly scale up” Yoga Bar.
The deal includes Sproutlife Foods’s direct-to-consumer health brand Yoga Bar, which is a range of healthy snack options such as Protein Bars, Muesli, Peanut Butters, and Gluten-Free Oats that are all-natural and have no artificial preservatives.
The deal, for an undisclosed sum, is expected to be completed by 2027, with at least a 47.5% stake in the business acquired by 31 March 2025.
ITC said the acquisition will enable it to augment its future-ready portfolio and enhance market presence in the ‘good for you’ space.
Additionally, the company expects Yoga Bar to be rapidly scaled up, leveraging its enterprise strengths in areas such as sales and distribution, sourcing, product development, and digital.
ITC food division chief executive Hemant Malik said: “We believe that this investment is an exciting opportunity that aligns with ITC’s foods business’ aspiration to build a formidable portfolio in the nutrition-led, healthy-foods space.”
“Within a short period, Yoga Bar has established itself as a leading brand in the healthy foods space, driven by impactful market positioning and a range of innovative products.”
Yoga Bar, founded by two sisters, Anindita and Suhasini Sampath, in 2014 has seen exponential growth over the last few years to an annual run rate of INR1bn (US$12.3m) currently.
According to analysts, the growth is attributed to undisputable ingredients, innovation of new flavors after understanding the market, and their pop packaging and youthful vibe.
While the bulk of its sales is online, it now has a “growing presence in offline stores”, ITC underscored.
In a statement, the Sampaths express their delight and confidence to join hands with ITC in Yoga Bar’s next phase of growth.
She noted that ITC has a long history of building world-class brands, leveraging its core competencies which encompass a superior understanding of the consumer, strong backward linkages with the agri-supply chain, and a deep and wide distribution network.
According to her, the partnership will add to Yoga Bar’s competitive advantage and take it to the next level from the current annualized run rate of over INR1bn.
The acquisition comes on the heels of a report from investment banking services firm Avendus Capital which says India is the world’s fastest-growing health foods market and is forecasted to become a $30 billion sector by 2026.
The number of health-conscious consumers in India would increase from 108 million in the calendar year 2020 to 176 million in 2026, the report notes, adding that there was massive headroom for growth in the space given low health food penetration as a percentage of total packaged foods and beverages which stood at 11% in India compared to 31% in the US.