US – American multinational food company Mars Incorporated is set to expand its portfolio of food company following an agreement to fully acquiring snack processing giant Kind North America.

The acquisition comes three years after Mars took a minority stake in the healthy snacking company that is reported to make about US$1.5 billion in sales annually.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but people with knowledge of the deal told The New York Times the deal valued Kind at about $5 billion.

Kind as a better-for-you snack producer

Since its creation in 2005, Kind has grown to become one of the biggest brands in healthy snacks, preferring to use simple and natural ingredients, featuring nuts and grains.

The brand started out in snack bars and has since branched out to cereal, smoothie bowls, energy and refrigerated protein bars.

Since Mars first took a stake in the company back in 2017, the company has significantly increased its footprint and today, its products are available in 35 countries.

“When we began this partnership, I said it was one built on mutual admiration and a shared vision for growth,” Mars CEO Grant Reid said in the statement today.

“After three years, you can see the impact, as together we have grown the healthy snacking category and brought KIND and the KIND Promise to 35 countries and into new categories.”

The acquisition of Kind by Mars is seen by analysts in the food industry as a natural step by the American food manufacturing giant given that better-for-you and clean-label snacks are taking the industry by storm.

According to Innova, 91% of consumers believe food and beverage options with recognizable ingredients are healthier.

Kind has been a trailblazer in this area, with its clear packaging to show consumers what they’re getting in their bars, and devotion to natural ingredients.

The company operates under a corporate philosophy called the Kind Promise, which codifies the company’s dedication to clean-label ingredients, healthy food and transparency.

Mars’ acquisition of Kind can thus be termed as a big success in the natural and better-for-you space to its stable of products.

This is the type of brand that could truly help Mars continue to grow and adapt as a leader in the food space.

While Mars is best known for its confections and gum, purchasing a large player in the better-for-you space adds better portfolio diversity to meet changing human consumers.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Kind will function as a distinct and separate business under the Mars umbrella.

Its founder Daniel Lubetzky will continue to work with the business he started and retain a financial stake in Kind, most of which he had previously donated to charity.

Kind’s future plans now easier to attain

Kind has several big plans outlined in the press release, all of which will become much easier as an arm of Mars, Incorporated.

By 2025, the company commits to adding more than 2 billion servings of nutrient-dense food to diets and the previously announced goal of exclusively sourcing all almonds from bee-friendly farms.

With Mars’ presence in 80 countries worldwide, a US$1 billion commitment to sustainability and its charter membership in the Sustainable Food Policy Alliance, these goals are now much more in Kind’s reach.

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