Campbell Soup Co., Camden, N.J., entered into an agreement to acquire the assets and business of Garden Fresh Gourmet for $231 million. Garden Fresh Gourmet is a Ferndale, Mich.-based maker of refrigerated salsa, hummus, dips and tortilla chips.
“The acquisition of Garden Fresh Gourmet is another milestone in re-shaping our portfolio toward faster-growing categories, including packaged fresh and organic foods,” says Denise Morrison, Campbell’s president and CEO. “Garden Fresh Gourmet’s on-trend products will provide Campbell with another growth engine to help us continue to shift our center of gravity.”
Garden Fresh Gourmet will become part of the Campbell Fresh division (formerly called Packaged Fresh), leveraging the Bolthouse Farms refrigerated fresh platform. Under Campbell’s new enterprise structure, the division will focus on building the company’s scale and accelerating growth in rapidly expanding packaged fresh categories across the retail perimeter. The division also includes the Bolthouse Farms portfolio of fresh carrots, super-premium refrigerated beverages, salad dressings and kids snacks, as well as the recently launched 1915 brand of ultra-premium, cold-pressed organic juices. It also includes Campbell’s retail refrigerated soups.
“Garden Fresh Gourmet will allow the Campbell Fresh division to expand in the deli section of the grocery store perimeter, and will complement our strong presence in the produce section. It is a logical extension of our fresh food and beverage platform that resonates with today’s consumers. This is a critical next step in our journey to becoming the leader in the fast-growing packaged fresh category,” says Jeff Dunn, president, Campbell Fresh. “Garden Fresh Gourmet is an American success story, whose leadership has built a vibrant brand with a loyal following in faster-growing categories like refrigerated salsas and hummus. We will leverage our packaged fresh production and distribution, sales and brand-building capabilities to help Garden Fresh Gourmet become a national brand.”
Garden Fresh Gourmet generated $100 million in net sales for the year ended Dec. 31, 2014. With the addition of Garden Fresh Gourmet, the Campbell Fresh division will account for more than $1 billion in annual net sales.
“We believe Campbell is the right company to take Garden Fresh Gourmet to the next level and introduce our great products to more customers and more consumers. I know Campbell is a fitting home for the Garden Fresh Gourmet family,” adds Jack Aronson, co-founder of Garden Fresh Gourmet. Aronson will stay on as an adviser to the business.
Garden Fresh Gourmet has approximately 500 employees with operations in Grand Rapids, Mich.; Inkster, Mich.; and Detroit, Mich. Garden Fresh Gourmet will continue to operate out of the Ferndale headquarters facility, and will be led by Todd Putman, general manager–Garden Fresh, within the Campbell Fresh division.