Kraft Heinz confirmed Thursday its plan to buy paleo food company Primal Kitchen. The company produces paleo mayo and dressings, as well as collagen-based protein bars and snack bars. The $200 million purchase is expected to be finalized early next year.
“Primal Kitchen is an authentic, premium and growing brand that fits perfectly with our core Condiments & Sauces categories, and we are excited to partner with the Company’s strong existing team to drive growth across multiple categories going forward,” says Paulo Basilio, US zone president for Kraft Heinz.
Primal Kitchen, founded by paleo food blogger and author Mark Sisson, is expected to generate nearly $50 million in revenue this year. Its products are devoid of artificial ingredients, added sugars, and processed vegetable oils.
The paleo diet focuses on whole foods including nuts, seeds, grass-fed meats, and produce, and eschews dairy, grains, and processed foods. Research has linked the diet to anti-inflammatory and autoimmune benefits.
The deal, reports CNBC, “marks a change of course for Kraft Heinz, whose backers, 3G Capital, have become known for large-scale deals.”
After the acquisition, Primal Kitchen will continue to be run by founders Sisson and Morgan Buehler out of Oxnard, California.
“The team is looking at basically continuing to do what we have been doing,” Sisson tells FoodNavigator-USA, “which is making what we think are the world’s best products. But now we’ll be tapping into the added potential distribution, knowledge base, scale opportunities that Kraft Heinz has to offer.”
The acquisition will be completed through Kraft Heinz's new venture platform, Springboard, which was launched earlier this year to help the company partner with smaller food startups. This technique has been used by many other similar companies to help them break into the innovative food space: Campbell Soup Co. launched Acre Venture Partners in February 2016, and Tyson Foods launched Tyson New Ventures in December 2016, allowing the meat processing giant to secure a minority investment in cell-based meat company Memphis Meats earlier this year.
The announcement comes nearly two years after Kraft Heinz’s failed attempt to acquire Unilever in February 2017.