- Hormel Foods' natural and organic portfolio grew Tuesday morning with its planned acquisition of nut butter-based snack maker Justin's, LLC. Hormel will pay $286 million for the company.
- Hormel also announced its quarterly earnings Tuesday. Profit jumped 20%, though volume dipped in all segments besides refrigerated foods. The company hiked up its earnings guidance from $1.50 to $1.56 per share to $1.56 to $1.60 per share.
- Justin's will remain in Boulder, CO, as a company subsidiary under Hormel's Grocery Products sector.
The Justin's acquisition aligns with overall company strategy toward on-the-go and health-conscious consumers, according to a news release. It announced it would acquire U.S. natural and organic meats producer Applegate Farms for $775 million just about a year ago.
Last month, Hormel announced it would implement a clean label initiative across the company. Clean label is not a new arena for the company. Its Valley Fresh products, Hormel Compleats microwaveable meals, and Hormel Always Tender meats already received the simplified treatment.
Justin's products include peanut butter cups, nut butters, and snack packs. These could serve as a "healthier" alternative to Hormel's Skippy brand, which formally announced new product Skippy P.B. Bites earlier this year, inspired by candy companies' forays into unwrapped bite-sized morsel snacks.
Justin's nut butters and snack packs tout the words "naturally delicious." The term "natural" is under the FDA's microscope as it considers a formal definition of the word. So it's a point the company may have to address in future packaging iterations. What's more, in the FAQ section of its website, Justin's breaks down its gluten and gluten-free products. Gluten-free is often associated with "clean label," so having this option is an added bonus in Hormel's portfolio.