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Glanbia Acquisitions Strengthen Position in Plant-Based Nutrition Market

February 10, 2017

Global nutrition and dairy ingredients group, Glanbia, announced it has agreed to acquire two companies – Amazing Grass in the U.S, and Body & Fit located in the Netherlands for a combined consideration of €181 million (US$192.5 million). The acquisitions are being seen as a means for Glanbia to strengthen its position in the plant-based nutrition market.

Amazing Grass

Founded in Newport Beach, California, by Brandon Bert and Todd Habermehl, Amazing Grass grows cereal grasses and alfalfa for use in its portfolio of plant-based organic and non-GMO “Greens” and “SuperFood” product lines that include Amazing Grass Wheat Grass Powder; The Amazing Trio, which includes wheat grass, barley grass and alfalfa; Amazing Grass Green SuperFoods powder, which comes in 12 flavors; Raw Reserve, a blend of AFA’s, spirulina, chlorella, and sea vegetables from the coast of Maine; plant-based protein meal replacement and superfood powders in six flavors; Organic Superfood Bars; and Kidz SuperFood powders that come in chocolate or berry flavors.

Body & Fit

Launched in the Netherlands in 1995, Body & Fit is a leader in the direct to consumer (DTC) online branded performance nutrition space. The bulk of the company’s customer base is located in Germany, and the BeNeLux region (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg), and will give Glanbia a greater foothold in the rapidly growing DTC space while also expanding the Ireland-based group’s reach throughout Europe.

“I’m delighted to announce the acquisitions of Amazing Grass and Body & Fit,” said Siobhan Talbot, group managing director, Glanbia. “Both businesses have a strong strategic fit with Glanbia Performance Nutrition, extending its reach to new consumers and channels. Amazing Grass produces a range of natural plant based nutrition products while Body & Fit is a successful direct to consumer online brand. Both businesses have a track record of strong growth and we will continue to invest in their future development.”

A Building Presence

Glanbia has been investing heavily to gain market share in the high-protein, health-conscious nutrition sector. In November 2015 the group announced the acquisition of U.S. protein bar business, thinkThin for US$217 million.

Launched in 1999 in Southern California, and known as a leader in the high-protein, healthy snack sector, thinkThin is self-described as a “passionate supporter of health through nutrition.”

While it has traditionally been focused on the ingredients and nutrition through its supplement brands, including Optimum Nutrtion and BSN, Glanbia foresees the acquisition as providing a foothold in the booming ‘better for you” snack space, and bringing further value to its Performance Nutrition division.

However, it is interesting to note that through the acquisition of Amazing Grass, Glanbia has deepened its reach further still, backwardly integrating the agricultural production of the raw materials used in its nutrition products.

Behind the Deals

Increasingly informed, health-conscious consumers have been driving demand for protein in recent years, but not just for protein – for plant-based protein.

Plant-based protein sources have been increasingly on the radar of both consumers and investors alike, as growing awareness of the resource-intensive nature of meat production continues to raises concerns.

Global protein consumption is expected to climb at a CAGR of 1.7 percent, reaching 943 million tons by 2054, according to Lux Research. Over this same time period, alternative protein sources are forecast to command up to a third of the protein market as they fill the void created by slowing growth in meat and seafood production.

Now aware that plant-based proteins are also a way to avoid exposure to antibiotics and hormones used in animal protein production, as well as a way to avoid saturated fat, cholesterol, and intolerances to dairy and eggs, Food Navigator reports that half of Americans now believe that plants are the optimum source of protein, according to the report, Food Formulation and Ingredient Trends: Plant Proteins published in February 2016 by Packaged Facts.

“Consumer preference, concerns over the planet’s ability to produce sufficient meat, impact of livestock agriculture on the environment, and mounting scientific advances are driving the changing protein demand,” said Camilla Stice, Lux Research Analyst.

This shift in sentiment is reflected in the numbers – last year the plant protein sector was valued at $7.67 billion, reports Food Bev. And at an expected compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7 percent, by 2020 the sector is expected to reach a value exceeding $10 billion, according to Mordor Intelligence.

 

-Lynda Kiernan

Lynda Kiernan is Editor with GAI Media and daily contributor to GAI News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration please contact Ms. Kiernan at lkiernan@globalaginvesting.com

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