General Mills Extends Health Food Reach with EPIC Provisions Acquisition
January 7, 2016
General Mills has acquired the premium meat snack company, EPIC Provisions, for an undisclosed amount.
Founded in 2013 by Taylor Collins and Katie Forrest, Austin, Texas-based EPIC produces meat-based protein bars from ingredients sourced from antibiotic and hormone-free chicken, turkey, pork, bison, lamb, and grass-fed beef. The company also sells jerky bites, trail mix, and animal fats for cooking; tailoring its gluten-free, and low-sugar offerings to be compatible with the trending “paleo” diet which eliminates grains, dairy, and sugar in favor of meat, fish, and vegetables.
Once the deal is completed, EPIC will be operated as a unit under Annie’s, which General Mills acquired in 2014 for $820 million as a cornerstone on which to mount the expansion of its natural and organic offerings.
"The acquisition of EPIC positions General Mills for exciting growth with a highly authentic brand in an entirely new natural snacking category," said John Foraker, President of Annie's in a company press release announcing the deal, adding, “…EPIC has tremendous potential for growth in the natural snacking category.“
Last year, global information company, NPD Group, concluded that over the past five years, the meat snack category saw an 18% increase in consumption by adults. This growth has prompted large food companies to vie for early market share, exemplified by this deal by General Mills, and Hershey’s acquisition of KRAVE Jerky as its first non-candy acquisition earlier this year.
Both Collins and Forrest will remain with the business following the closing of the transaction, stating, "We're proud of the rapid growth EPIC Provisions has achieved during the past three years. Our decision to join General Mills provides EPIC with the scale to bring our products to even more consumers, and to significantly increase the positive impact of our business on grassland regeneration and proper livestock management practices. We look forward to working with Annie's and General Mills to continue this momentum and to build upon the authenticity of the brand we created."
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