- Cereal giant General Mills bought EPIC provisions, a fast-growing premium meat snacks company that will fall under its Annie's business.
- "A purpose-driven brand like EPIC perfectly aligns with the experience and capabilities set that Annie's brings to the table," John Foraker, President of Annie's, said in a statement. "EPIC has tremendous potential for growth in the natural snacking category."
- The company's co-founders, Taylor Collins and Katie Forrest, will follow the company with the acquisition. General Mills didn't reveal the terms of the deal.
The meat snack industry has been gaining traction, with NPD last year reporting the category increased 18% in consumption by adults over the last five years.
Last year's meat snacking success story was Hershey acquiring Krave Jerky. As companies look to beef up their more healthy, protein-heavy sectors — pun intended — this acquisition makes sense and signals the category is more than noticeable to large CPG companies. Meat snacks were a significant trend at last year's Summer Fancy Food Show.
Matt Tolnick, the founder of Lawless Jerky, predicted to Food Dive large brands would start copying the craft brand products in the meat snack category, similar to what is happening with artisinal coffee and craft beer. General Mills has taken another route by outright acquiring the brand.
The co-founders' continued work with the brand echoes previous industry acquisitions hanging on to prior management. Working under the large umbrella of a CPG company means there's strong company backing, but profits are still paramount.