CAMDEN, N.J. — Campbell Soup Co. has agreed to acquire organic soup maker Pacific Foods for $700 million in cash. The closing of the acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
Founded in 1987, Tualatin, Ore.-based Pacific Foods produces organic broth, soup, shelf-stable plant-based beverages, meals and side dishes. Products manufactured by the company are sold under the Pacific brand.
The company generated approximately $218 million in sales in the 12 months ended May 31. The acquisition will expand Campbell Soup’s footprint in the $11 billion organic food and beverage category, which grew at a compound annual growth rate of 15.3% over the past four years, according to data from Information Resources, Inc.
|Denise Morrison, president and c.e.o. of Campbell Soup|
“This acquisition is consistent with our purpose, ‘Real food that matters for life’s moments,’” said Denise Morrison, president and chief executive officer of Campbell Soup. “Pacific is an authentic brand with a loyal consumer following. The acquisition allows us to expand into faster-growing spaces such as organic and functional food.
“Moreover, Pacific Foods is an excellent fit with Campbell — strategically, culturally and philosophically. It advances our strategic imperatives around real food, transparency, sustainability and health and well-being. 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.”
Campbell Soup said it plans to expand distribution, increase marketing support and invest in research and development and the supply chain to scale the business. Pacific Foods will become part of Campbell’s Americas Simple Meals and Beverages division, which includes Campbell’s, V8, Swanson, Prego, Pace and Plum Organics brands.
Pacific Foods has approximately 540 employees and operates a certified organic manufacturing plant. The company will continue to operate out of Tualatin, and chief executive officer and co-founder Chuck Eggert will remain with the company.
|Chuck Eggert, c.e.o. and co-founder of Pacific Foods|
"We've spent the past 30 years focused on making nourishing foods with an emphasis on simple, organic ingredients and authentic, rich flavors,” Mr. Eggert said. “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.”The acquisition is Campbell Soup’s fifth in as many years as the company continues to transform its portfolio in response to heightened consumer interest in health and wellness. Other deals in recent years include Bolthouse Farms in 2012, Plum Organics and Kelsen in 2013, and Garden Fresh Gourmet in 2015.