MCLEAN, Va. — The merger and acquisition space is heating up in the convenience channel — this time on the supplier side as Mars Inc. inks a deal to acquire healthy snacking leader KIND North America.
As part of the agreement, KIND North America will join KIND International to create one organization operating across 35 countries, functioning as a distinct and separate business within the Mars Family of Cos. The acquisition signifies the next step in the companies' strategic partnership, which began three years ago.
"I am so proud of how well the Mars and KIND teams have complemented and strengthened each other over the past three years," said Daniel Lubetzky, KIND founder and executive chairman. "We are now well positioned to further advance our efforts and continue building a foremost health and wellness platform. As we said in 2017, Mars is a company that shares KIND's passion for business as a force for good, and I am confident that together, we will be able to make our small contribution to make this world a little kinder."
Over the past three years, Mars and KIIND have partnered to bring KIND and its signature KIND bars into new geographies and categories. As a result, KIND has expanded into more than 35 countries, including China, Germany and France, and into eight total categories such as frozen and refrigerated. Additionally, the company has launched new products, including KIND Bark, KIND Frozen Bars and KIND Smoothie Bowls.
"When we began this partnership, I said it was one built on mutual admiration and a shared vision for growth," said Mars CEO Grant F. Reid. "After three years, you can see the impact, as together we have grown the healthy snacking category and brought KIND and the KIND Promise to 35 countries and into new categories. We’re delighted to continue to build on this success and welcome KIND North America into the Mars Family of Cos."
Lubetzky will play a key role in the future development and expansion of KIND, helping to maximize the reach and impact of the KIND mission and products, while upholding the KIND Promise as the brand expands into new categories and geographies, the companies announced. He will retain an ongoing financial stake in KIND, a majority of which was previously donated to charity to further his philanthropic efforts to build bridges across lines of divide.
KIND remains committed to its Promise and mission and will further its purpose to build a kinder world one snack and one act at a time by committing to being:
Kinder to our bodies: KIND will add more than 2 billion servings of nutrient dense foods to people’s diets by 2025.
Kinder to our planet: KIND will exclusively source 100 percent of its almonds from bee friendly farms by 2025.
Kinder to our communities: KIND will continue to break down barriers to create more inclusive and empathetic communities.
Founded in 2004, KIND has a family of more than 100 snacks. All of the company's products lead with a nutrient-dense first ingredient such as whole nuts, whole grains or whole fruit, and do not contain genetically engineered ingredients, sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners.
McLean-based Mars has a diverse and expanding portfolio of confectionery, food, and petcare products and services. With $40 billion in annual sales, it produces some of the world’s most recognizable brands including: Dove, Extra, M&M's, Milky Way, Snickers, Twix, Orbit, Pedigree, Royal Canin, Skittles, Ben's Original, Whiskas, Cocoavia and 5.