As it modernizes its snacking portfolio, the candy giant Hershey Co. has a deal to buy One Brands LLC for $397 million. The company was launched in 1999 as Oh Yeah! Nutrition.
Hershey spokesperson Leigh Horner said on Thursday that the deal could close by late September after regulatory reviews. Hershey will pay for One Brands with cash and short-term borrowings. Its cost after tax benefits will be $325 million.
Older packaged-food companies such as Hershey and Campbell Soup have seen weak sales growth as consumers’ tastes shift toward healthier foods.
Hershey has expanded beyond the Hershey chocolate bar and Reese’s peanut butter cups with the acquisitions of Skinny Pop popcorn, Pirate’s Booty puffed cheese, and Krave beef jerky in recent years. Mary Beth West, the company’s chief growth officer, said that One Brands “broaden[s] our better-for-you portfolio, offering more snacking choices for consumers.” Hershey announced the deal earlier this week.
Despite gluttonous-sounding names like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter Pie, and White Chocolate Truffle, One Brands says that its bars contain 20 grams of protein and one gram of sugar. They also contain 210 to 230 calories -- roughly consistent with Hershey’s corporate goal of cutting the calorie count in many of its products to 200 calories by 2022.
The traditional Hershey’s chocolate bar contains 220 calories, with 24 grams of sugar and three grams of protein. It’s 20 percent fat.
Hershey also announced this month a minority investment into the U.K. and Irish nutrition-bar company Fulfil Holdings Limited.
Though it was down $2.49 on Thursday to $157.99 a share, Hershey stock has climbed 57 percent over the last year.