- Plant-based refrigerated and frozen food maker Tattooed Chef is ready to enter a new category with the acquisition of private label snack and nutrition bar manufacturer Belmont Confections for $18 million. The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of this year.
- Ohio-based Belmont Confections has the potential to contribute more than $100 million annually in revenue in the next two to three years, according to a press release on the deal. It will also provide Tattooed Chef with a 47,000-square-foot bar manufacturing facility.
- Tattooed Chef has relied on M&A to expand its reach into new segments. In May, the plant-based company bought New Mexico Food Distributors, Inc. and Karsten Tortilla Factory for $35 million to expand into Mexican and Southwest food. This latest acquisition opens the door for the company to reach into the $10 billion plant-based bar category.
Earlier this year, Tattooed Chef President and CEO Sam Galletti said, “We are comfortable producing food in any category.” This acquisition makes clear that the company is interested in tapping into a wide variety of growing categories within food and beverage.
“Belmont is exactly the type of company that we have talked about acquiring with regards to a company that adds both manufacturing capacity and capabilities,” said Galletti in a statement. “This acquisition will further allow us to control the supply chain for the brand and ensure that Tattooed Chef products are always available by controlling our own destiny.” Tattooed Chef already has a manufacturing facility in California and one in Italy, where it sources most of its ingredients.
Tattooed Chef is in a unique position to take Belmont’s expertise in bar manufacturing and pair it with the company’s own knowledge of plant-based production, the company’s chief creative officer Sarah Galletti said in a statement. As a private label bar company, Belmont Confections also gives Tattooed Chef leverage across more sales channels including convenience stores, vending, drug and dollar in order to broaden its consumer base, the company said.
There have been a proliferation of plant-based bars that will provide competition to Tattooed Chef. This summer, Kellogg’s RXBar debuted its first plant-based protein bar in chocolate chip and peanut butter. Mondelēz majority-owned Perfect Snacks has a line of better-for-you nut butter-based protein bars, and PepsiCo is reformulating the bars under its plant-based Evolve line to boost their fiber content. Kind sells a line of refrigerated nut butter protein bars. Justin’s, owned by Hormel Foods, entered the refrigerated bar category with Almond Butter Protein Bars. And Mondelēz International owns a majority stake in Perfect Snacks, the manufacturer of organic, non-GMO, nut butter-based protein bars and bites.
As Tattooed Chef aims to gain a foothold in bars, the company said it has developed a strategy to create “more ambient and refrigerated products” with the Belmont acquisition and expand its reach to consumers “at home and on-the-go.”
While Belmont Confections is a private label manufacturer, its parent company was a spinoff of Penhurst Candy Co., a private-label confection maker. This history, coupled with Belmont’s Non-GMO Project verification and gluten-free certification, may give Tattooed Chef some advantages as it works to develop new bars for this highly competitive space.