Unilever to expand consumer health portfolio with acquisition of US supplements company SmartyPants Vitamins

US – Consumer goods giant Unilever has signed an agreement to acquire US company SmartyPants Vitamins in an effort to expand its portfolio of consumer health and wellness products.

Founded in 2011 by Courtney Nichols Gould and Gordon Gould, SmartyPants offers a comprehensive range of supplements that aim to support the wellbeing needs of children and adults.

SmartyPants Vitamins reports that it had reached over 14 million mothers and children worldwide with nutrient grants through a partnership with Vitamin Angels, a US based non-profit organization.

The US Vitamin, Mineral & Supplement company has a target of providing “life-changing vitamins” 100 million mothers, expectant mothers, and children in need by 2025.

The Los Angeles-based company’s offerings are reportedly free from synthetic colours, artificial flavours, sweeteners and preservatives.

Peter Ter Kulve, president of health and wellbeing at Unilever, said: “SmartyPants Vitamins complements Unilever’s portfolio of brands (Horlicks, Olly, Equilibra and Liquid I.V) in the functional nutrition and supplement segment.

“We are excited to work with co-founders Courtney and Gordon and their team to grow their innovative and data-driven business model.”

On his part, Fabian Garcia, President of Unilever North America expressed his delight over the acquisition of SmartyPants adding that the company aligns strongly with Unilever’s mission to improve the health and wellbeing of consumers and “empower people to take charge of their health with solutions they can understand and trust.”

The acquisition comes at a time when there is increased demand for health and wellness products globally.

Technavio predicts the global health and wellness market to grow steadily at a CAGR of over 6% and is expected to reach US$1.299 Trillion by 2024.

Inline with this trend, Unilever has been steadily increasing investments in the food and wellness sector while at the same time offloading businesses with less potential for future growth.

In 2018 for instance, Unilever reached an agreement to acquire GlaxoSmithKline’s Health Food Drinks portfolio in India, Bangladesh and 20 other predominantly Asian markets, which includes brands such as Horlicks and Boost.

The acquisition of SmartyPants Vitamins transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions will thus further enhance Unilever’s standing in the highly attractive health and wellness segment of the food industry.

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