Justin’s, LLC, the Boulder, Co.-based brand best-known for the ubiquitous natural Nutella knock-off and organic peanut butter cups natural food stores can’t keep in stock, has been purchased for $286 million by Hormel Foods, the Austin, Minn.-based pork processing giant behind brands including Spam and Dinty Moore. It also owns conventional peanut butter brand, Skippy, and in 2015, acquired the Bridgewater, NJ-based natural meat brand Applegate Farms for $775 million.
"It's a great family business, wonderful people," Peter Burns, president and chief executive officer of Justin's told the Denver Post. "We've gotten to know them, their core competencies. They own a great brand and are proficient in the natural and organic space."
In the decade since founder Justin Gold began making nut butters in his home kitchen to sell at local farmers markets in Colorado, the company has spiraled into a massive natural brand found in thousands of natural and conventional stores across the U.S.
Hormel says Justin's should have net sales of $100 million in fiscal 2017, and can expect to experience continued low double-digit growth after that.
“I am pleased to welcome Justin’s into the Hormel Foods family,” James P. Snee, president and chief operating officer at Hormel Foods, said in a statement. “We are excited to work together with the Justin’s team to bring these great products to even more consumers, leveraging key Hormel Foods resources to drive continued innovation and growth to this on-trend category.”
“Justin’s® naturally delicious, high-quality nut butters, nut butter snacks and organic peanut butter cups align perfectly with our goal of complementing our existing brands with new offerings that resonate with younger, on-the-go and more health-conscious consumers,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger (no relation to the author), chairman of the board and chief executive officer at Hormel Foods.
Hormel says Justin’s will continue operating out of the company’s office in Boulder.
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Image via Justin's