- Kind Healthy Snacks acquired Creative Snacks Co., a better-for-you snack manufacturer from North Carolina. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- This acquisition marks Kind’s first time to broaden its product portfolio through M&A.
- Creative Snacks Co. was founded in 2009 by a husband and wife team and produces products that include almond and coconut nut clusters, trail mixes, dried fruit, granolas and pretzels.
Things have been changing rapidly in recent months for Kind. Just prior to making its first-ever acquisition, the bar and trail mix company pulled its Fruit Bites off the market. And company founder Daniel Lubetzky stepped out of the CEO role to give it to Mike Barkley, who previously worked at food and beverage CPG companies including Pinnacle Foods, Campbell Soup and PepsiCo.
With barely a month in the role as CEO, it appears that Barkley is getting down to business and preparing the better-for-you snacking company to compete in the big leagues. In recent years, Kind has moved beyond its signature bar snacks, adding its first frozen product in May. Chocolate Kind Bark recently went on the market exclusively at Sprouts. And this first move into M&A is indicative of the broader ambitions of the company, which Barkley has said are to become a global complete snack maker.
However, in order to compete in the healthy snack segment, which is rapidly becoming more competitive, Kind needs to focus on what it is good at: revolutionizing better-for-you adult snacking. Perhaps that is part of the reason the brand dropped its fruit snacks, which were aimed at kids. Adding Creative Snacks to Kind's portfolio is right in line with the bar company's core products, but add a trail mix and dried fruit and vegetable component that did not previously exist.
Continuing to focus on nuts and dried fruit appears to be the path that Kind is looking to pursue in the near future. The brand has 15 years of experience making ingredients that are usually found in the grocery store's bulk section into appealing on-the-go products with a veneer of healthfulness. It would do well to continue capitalizing on what it does best as it takes its initial step into a expansion, signaling to bigger CPGs that the company is serious.
While Barkley himself has experience dealing with integrating brands into existing portfolios, this is going to be a first for Kind. It will take some adjustments from both sides as the brands try to retain their voice but also integrate. Once the two brands find a balance, there is a lot of potential.
Creative Snacks will have the advantage of Kind’s more extensive supply chain and distributor network to continue to expand its fan base. Kind will augment its existing product mix in a complementary way, offering more options for healthy snacking to adults. With Barkley at the helm, it's likely this will not be the last acquisition for the company.