The Campbell Soup Company announced last Thursday its $700 million acquisition of Oregon-based organic nondairy milk, broth, and soup company, Pacific Foods.
“Pacific Foods is an excellent fit with Campbell,” said company president and CEO Denise Morrison in a statement. “Culturally, Campbell and Pacific Foods share similar values and a commitment to a purpose-driven approach. Philosophically, both companies believe in making food that we are proud to serve at our own tables using simple, recognizable ingredients.”
Thirty-year-old Pacific Foods will continue to operate from its certified organic plant in Tualatin, Oregon, and company CEO and co-founder Chuck Eggert will remain on board as a supplier of key ingredients through his family farms.
“We’ve spent the past 30 years focused on making nourishing foods with an emphasis on simple, organic ingredients and authentic, rich flavors,” said Eggert. “Looking ahead, a future with Campbell means we can maintain what we value while accelerating growth of the brand in a way that we couldn’t do alone, reaching more people while increasing our impact on sustainable agriculture.”
Pacific Foods also produces shelf-stable plant-based beverages and meals like baked beans, hummus, and cooked chicken in stock.
Pacific Foods will mark Campbell’s fifth purchase in five years, which include organic baby-food maker Plum Organics, salsa and hummus producer Garden Fresh Gourmet, and smoothie producer Bolthouse Farms. Alongside the company’s commitment to phase artificial ingredients out of its soups by 2018, these purchases show that Campbell’s is attempting to align itself the current trend in a consumer demand for natural and organic products.
“The acquisition is a smart move for Campbell, which has struggled with lagging demand for its marquee condensed soups and disappointing revenues for its Fresh segment,” reports Food Dive; in Campbell’s last earnings report, sales from the Campbell Fresh division, which includes salad dressings and refrigerated soups, had fallen 6 percent to $248 million.
“Analysts have said that Campbell’s foray into fresh is a cautionary tale of a CPG company trying to apply its previous center store success to the very different world of the store’s perimeter,” continues Food Dive.
USA Today reports that the deal still needs approval from regulators before being finalized.