Pinnacle Foods Inc., Parsippany, N.J., entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Canada-based Garden Protein International Inc., a manufacturer of frozen alternative-meat products such as chicken strips and tenders, ground beef and fish filets under the gardein brand.

"The acquisition of Gardein is a key enabler to continue building Birds Eye into the leading health and wellness brand focused on helping Americans eat more vegetables,” says Bob Gamgort, chief executive officer for Pinnacle Foods. “By bringing Gardein under the Birds Eye umbrella, we will accelerate growth through expanded distribution, marketing and innovation."

"We believe that plant-based protein is at the tipping point of becoming mainstream, making Gardein an exciting new growth platform for the Birds Eye business. We congratulate Yves [Potvin, founder and president of Gardein] and the Gardein team for pioneering new territory in food and look forward to welcoming them to Pinnacle," adds Gamgort.

"We are proud of the business we built, and are very excited about partnering with Birds Eye and Pinnacle to realize Gardein's full potential," says Potvin. "We look forward to working with Birds Eye to expand the reach of great-tasting, plant-based protein products for consumers." 

Pinnacle plans to invest significantly behind Gardein in 2015 to continue to expand the brand and leverage the complementary positioning of Gardein and Birds Eye in the marketplace.