LONDON — Unilever PLC has acquired Grom, a premium Italian gelato business based in Turin, Italy. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Federico Grom and Guido Martinetti opened the first Grom shop in 2003. The company has expanded to more than 60 gelato shops in Italy and around the world. Grom’s frozen desserts are made with premium ingredients, such as organic fruit, cage-free eggs and spring water, and contain no added flavors, colors, preservatives or chemical additives. Gelato flavors include pistachio, salted caramel, mint chocolate chip and Guatemalan espresso. The company also offers seasonal fruit sorbets, with such varieties as Sicilian lemon and persimmon.
Unilever expects the acquisition will strengthen its ice cream portfolio and expand its presence in the premium gelato market. Grom will be operated as a standalone unit, and Mr. Grom and Mr. Martinetti will continue to manage the business from the Turin headquarters.
“Unilever and Grom share the same passion for gelato and have aligned values in areas such as the sustainable sourcing of raw materials,” said Kevin Havelock, president of the Unilever’s refreshment category. “Grom consumers will continue to enjoy the same taste and flavors they have always loved, while Unilever’s scale will give access to new markets, helping Grom to fuel growth.”
Unilever has four factories and 3,000 employees in Italy, where the company began operations 50 years ago. The company’s Italian ice cream and frozen dessert brands include Carte d’Or, Algida, Cucciolone, Cornetto and Max.“I am sure that such Italian heritage, together with our knowledge of the ice cream category, will help us work with Federico and Guido to unlock new opportunities for Grom,” said Angelo Trocchia, general manager of Unilever Italy.