Sweet deal: Hain Celestial buys maple and natural products maker
- Hain Celestial has acquired Clarks UK, a British company that makes maple syrup and natural sweeteners, according to a company release. Clarks generated about $9.5 million in sales in 2016, according to Food Business News. The cost of the purchase was not disclosed.
- In addition to maple syrup, Clarks’ product portfolio includes honey as well as carob, date and agave syrups, which are carried by retailers throughout the UK and used by foodservice and other industrial customers.
- "The Clarks brand and products are a strategic fit with the Hain Daniels spreads business for various natural sweeteners applications to complement our health and wellness portfolio of brands as consumers continue to seek to reduce their sugar intake and look for better-for-you alternatives to refined sugar," Irwin Simon, founder and CEO of Hain Celestial, said in a statement.
Buying a maker of maple syrup and natural sweeteners looks like a good move and perfect timing for Hain Celestial. Not only do Clarks’ products align well with other existing brands owned by the organic and natural foods company, but natural sweeteners — including maple syrup, honey, plant-based sweeteners such as stevia and fruit-based syrups — are on-trend and growing in popularity as consumers increasingly look for ways to reduce their sugar intake.
The recommended added sugar limit is 29 pounds a year for men and 20 for women, according to the American Heart Association. The USDA reports each American consumed 128 pounds in 2016. The nation clearly needs to cut back on its intake of sugar and artificial sweeteners such as corn syrup. Still, consumers want to indulge their sweet tooth, so increasingly they seek out better-for-you food and beverage products and brands that offer healthier alternatives to sugary household staples.
With the public’s appetite for almost anything maple gaining momentum, Hain Celestial’s acquisition of a maple syrup maker couldn't be better-timed. Maple's popularity falls right in line with consumers’ desire for more natural, healthier ingredients. Some speculate that millennials, who are especially cognizant of what goes into their body and where it comes from, also are looking to try something new — especially if it’s the same product they fondly remember watching their parents or grandparents consume while they were growing up.
Hain Celestial, known for its namesake tea and “healthy” CPG brands including Garden of Eatin', Earth's Best and the recently acquired Better Bean, has long been rumored as a takeover target because of its focus on the types of natural and organic products popular with consumers concerned about what they eat and where their food comes from. Large food and beverage manufacturers that have been rumored to be eyeing the company for acquisition could include General Mills, Kellogg, Nestle, Danone, Mondelez, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.
Bringing Clarks into the fold could help sweeten the pot for Hain Celestial as a takeover target. The Food and Drug Administration will require food manufacturers to include how many grams of added sugar are in packaged foods and drinks as part of its redesigned Nutrition Facts label. With the label deadline looming, more Big Food companies are introducing new products or reformulating existing ones to make them healthier for consumers — which includes reducing or replacing artificial sweetener and processed sugar content with better-for-you ingredients. Buying a company like Hain Celestial that already includes a natural sweetener manufacturer in its portfolio could prove to be a sweet deal.
- Hain Celestial Hain Celestial Announces Strategic Acquisition
- Food Business News Hain Celestial acquires natural sweeteners company
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