CHICAGO — Mondelez International, Inc. has acquired Hu Master Holdings, the parent company of better-for-you snack maker Hu Products. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Hu was founded by Jason H. Karp and siblings Jordan Brown and Jessica (Brown) Karp in 2012 as a high-end New York eatery offering paleo-inspired foods. Using the Hu Kitchen market section as a proof-of-concept consumer packaged goods testing ground, the founders later expanded the company’s vegan and paleo-friendly products. Hu has developed a brand portfolio of wellness-focused, vegan and paleo-friendly snacks.
It's product line includes three varieties of grain-free crackers – sea salt, everything, and pizza. Its other products include chocolate bars, chocolate covered fruits and nuts and dark chocolate “gems” for snacking and baking.
According to the company, the products were developed based on research the founders did researching “the gut-brain connection, the causes of systemic inflammation, and the impact of certain foods and additives on our health, immunity, and performance.”
The business is led by chief executive officer Mark Ramadan, who previously co-founded the Sir Kensington’s condiment brand, now owned by Unilever.
Mondelez took a minority stake in New York-based Hu Products through its SnackFutures venture arm in 2019. The investment granted the company a right of first offer to acquire Hu. Following a competitive bid, Mondelez finalized its acquisition of 100% ownership of the brand on Jan. 4.
“Hu is a strong strategic complement to our snacking portfolio in North America,” said Glen Walter, executive vice president and president of Mondelez International North America. “This well-being brand platform provides further growth opportunities in chocolate, cross-category potential in crackers, as well as meaningful opportunities to expand distribution, including in e-commerce and premium conventional retail. We’ve been very impressed with the Hu management team as a minority investor and look forward to working with Jordan Brown and Mark Ramadan and the rest of the Hu team to provide support and resources for the brand’s next chapter of growth.”
Joining recently acquired brands Tate’s Bake Shop and Perfect Snacks as part of Mondelez International’s North American Ventures business model, Hu will be operated as a separate business and will continue to produce all products at current manufacturing facilities. Hu’s senior leadership will receive a contingent payment based on future performance of the company.
“Jordan, Jessica and I started Hu Kitchen because there was a need to trust and understand every ingredient in our food,” Mr. Karp said. “Eight years ago, we felt there was a need for delicious food that could change how you feel and compliment a healthier lifestyle. Mondelez International has been our minority partner for almost two years, and we are excited to fully join their family of brands because we believe their resources, strengths and progressive vision can help us accelerate positive change within snacking and grow the Hu platform in a bigger and broader way.”