Laird Superfood acquires snack maker Choosy Bars for $12M

Dive Transient:

  • Plant-based producer Laird Superfood acquired Choosy Bars, a supplier of power bars and nutritionally enhanced oatmeal and granola, for $12 million in money and inventory.
  • Choosy Bars, based by skilled athletes in 2010, makes a speciality of clean-label merchandise with a balanced protein, fats and carbohydrate content material. Its choices, which had beforehand been offered solely direct to shopper, can be supplied by Laird Superfood’s omnichannel platform throughout the U.S. 
  • The acquisition is Laird Superfood’s first since going public in September. It additionally marks the corporate’s growth into product segments past its useful, beverage-focused portfolio, which incorporates coffees, coconut-based creamers, powdered drink mixes, coconut waters and dried fruit and nuts. 

Dive Perception:

Whereas Laird Superfood could also be including new product segments with its acquisition of Choosy Bars, there’s a lot concerning the deal that means a conservative and complementary merging of the better-for-you producers.

Each corporations have been launched by athlete entrepreneurs. Established in 2015, Laird Superfood’s co-founders embody large wave surfer Laird Hamilton and former professional volleyball participant Gabby Reece. Choosy was based in 2010 by monitor and subject athlete Lauren Fleshman, long-distance runner Stephanie Rothstein Bruce and triathlete Jesse Thomas.

Every producer additionally embraces a low-sugar, clean-label ethos for his or her merchandise. Laird Superfood positions its powdered plant-based creamers, sweetened with coconut sugar and that includes useful flavors like turmeric and mushroom, as the choice to closely processed choices. Choosy Bars makes use of dates for sweetness in its bars and oatmeal, and fat as such nuts, seeds and coconut oil all through its product line. Extra lately, this has included pancakes and a nut butter topping, Drizzle.

Laird Superfood has been searching for an growth past drinks for a while. In 2020, its powdered creamers provided 71% of the corporate’s gross sales, in line with its most up-to-date earnings presentation, though the corporate’s most up-to-date product introductions have been in useful espresso and powders. It has a shelf-stable liquid creamer slated to debut later this yr. This previous fall, proper after the corporate’s IPO, Laird Superfood co-founder and CEO Paul Hodge mentioned in an interview the corporate was concentrating on classes “that not solely differentiate us from another model” but additionally by which it might provide merchandise with beforehand unavailable attributes.

The corporate has since expanded into better-for-you complete snacks similar to dates and pili nuts, that are native to Southeast Asia and have a excessive magnesium content material. In response to the corporate, stock readily available for the pili nuts offered out on the primary day of the product’s October launch, and remained out of inventory for your complete month after. Choosy Bars’ portfolio, which incorporates quirky bar varieties similar to Ah, Fudge Nuts! and Blueberry Boomdizzle, 4 sorts of granola and three flavors of oatmeal, additional provides to Laird Superfood’s snacking lineup. 

The 2 Oregon-based producers additionally match like puzzle items by way of their method to gross sales. Laird Superfood’s merchandise can be found in practically 7,100 retail places, in line with the corporate’s most up-to-date earnings presentation, though roughly 60% of its gross sales originate on-line from its web site and Amazon. The corporate has set a goal of 20,000 retail places, Hodge talked about in its most up-to-date earnings name. Choosy Bars, which has taken a pure e-commerce-based method, has a subscription and loyalty program known as the Choosy Membership, by which prospects can customise shipments with their mixture of merchandise. Laird Superfood has its personal subscription program with volume-based reductions, reflecting its price-conscious method to better-for-you meals.

The acquisition is going down not solely after a profitable IPO but additionally a yr of robust gross sales progress for Laird Superfood, regardless of the hurdles of the pandemic. Gross sales for full-year 2020 rose 98.5% to hit $26 million, in line with its most up-to-date earnings report. It additionally completed the yr robust, with web gross sales up 75% to succeed in $7.3 million within the three months ending Dec. 31. On-line gross sales leapt 170%, with wholesale up 45%.

Persevering with this clip can be difficult. Whereas making acquisitions similar to Choosy Bars is one path to progress, Laird Superfood has another choice: aligning with Huge Meals. Actually, Laird’s largest investor is Danone Manifesto Ventures, the company enterprise arm of the worldwide meals big. In response to an analyst’s query through the firm’s fourth-quarter 2020 earnings name concerning the potential of future partnerships, Hodge was open to the probabilities, though Laird Superfood considers its merchandise an alternative choice to extra established manufacturers.

“If there’s a possibility that principally allows us to construct this model, that is what it is all about,” Hodge mentioned through the earnings name. Whether or not buying a model or partnering with a big CPG, “if there’s a deal that is simply is a win-win for everyone, we’ll actually be it.” 

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