- Post Holdings has agreed to a deal with Hungry Planet to distribute the upstart's plant-based meats in retail and foodservice, the companies said in a statement.
- As part of the transaction, Post is investing an undisclosed amount in Hungry Planet to support the company’s growth. Hungry Planet, which like Post is based in St. Louis, produces plant-based beef, chicken patties and crab cakes.
- The partnership with Hungry Planet is latest entrance into the plant-based space for Post, which is known for its diverse collection of products including Fruity Pebbles, Bob Evans frozen dishes and Malt-O-Meal. In May, Post's Michael Foods division partnered with Just Egg to distribute the mung-bean-based egg substitute to thousands of foodservice establishments in the U.S.
Post has been ramping up its portfolio expansion with a string of deals in recent months. While the partnership with Hungry Planet isn't an outright acquisition, it provides further evidence the company is moving aggressively to expand its reach into other categories.
In the course of a week in December, Post announced plans to buy one of the country's most popular peanut butter brands, Peter Pan from Conagra Brands, in a deal that closed Monday. Days later, Post snapped up Almark Foods, a provider of hard-cooked and deviled egg products.
Now, Post is further doubling down on the fast-growing plant-based category with its partnership and investment in Hungry Planet. Post provides an immediate way for Hungry Planet to quickly expand its reach in the crowed plant-based category.
Upstarts including Impossible Foods and Before the Butcher, along with food giants including Nestlé, Conagra Brands and Kellogg, have entered or expanded their reach into plant-based meats in recent years. Post gives Hungry Planet a better opportunity to compete for shelf space with its deep-pocked competitors. The CPG giant, with its stake in young company, gets a chance to profit from its success.
For Post, the company is able to use the expertise it has amassed through its distribution of plant-based Just Egg. At the same time, it allows Post to grow its portfolio to cater to consumers who prefer plant-based options or may be cutting back on their meat intake. Much like Just Egg allowed Post to have a plant-based option on the foodservice side, Hungry Planet's products could be plant-based counterparts to traditional breakfast meats at the grocery store, including the sausages sold by its Bob Evans brand.
By striking a partnership with Hungry Planet, Post achieves an immediate presence in the plant-based category with an already established brand, rather than creating its own from the ground up — a delay that would come as other companies further entrench themselves in the category. If Post decides it likes how the partnership is going, it could decide to expand it or take a bigger stake in the company. Post aptly describes itself as a holding company. It appears it's more than open to making more deals through an outright acquisition or partnership if it fills a gap in its portfolio.