Campbell Soup has announced that is has agreed to purchase the assets and business of Garden Fresh Gourmet for $231 million. The agreement is one of the biggest transactions made by the leading Camden, New Jersey soup company. Garden Fresh Gourmet is known as the top branded refrigerated salsa in the U.S. The company also makes hummus, dips and tortilla chips.
Denise Morrison, Campbell’s President and Chief Executive Officer, mentioned in a statement about the acquisition: “The acquisition of Garden Fresh Gourmet is another milestone in reshaping our portfolio toward faster-growing categories, including packaged fresh and organic foods. Garden Fresh Gourmet’s on-trend products will provide Campbell with another growth engine to help us continue to shift our center of gravity.”
Jeff Dunn, President–Campbell Fresh has made the following comment: “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.” He added “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 will become part of the Campbell Fresh division, leveraging the Bolthouse Farms refrigerated fresh platform. According to Campbell’s new enterprise structure, the new division will focus on expanding packaged fresh categories. The division also includes the Bolthouse Farms portfolio of fresh carrots, super-premium refrigerated beverages, salad dressings and kids snacks. This also includes the newly launched 1915 brand of ultra-premium cold-pressed organic juices and retail refrigerated soups.
Jack Aronson, who will stay on as an adviser to the business, said, “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.”
Campbell has added a trio of growth engines over the past years to its successful business and these are through acquiring Bolthouse Farms in 2012 and organic baby-food company Plum and biscuit company Kelsen in 2013. The acquisition of Garden Fresh Gourmet is the latest in a series of acquisitions Campbell has made to cater to the needs of consumers for fresh foods and health and well-being.
Campbell expects the transaction not to affect its previously announced fiscal 2015 guidance and to be slightly accretive beginning in fiscal 2016. The closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions and is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015.
About Campbell Soup Company
The Campbell Soup Company, also known as Campbell’s, is an American company that produces canned soups and other food products. The company’s products are sold in 120 countries around the world. Its headquarters are located in Camden, New Jersey. Campbell’s has a total of three divisions: the simple meals division, which consists largely of soups both condensed and ready-to-serve, the baked snacks division, which consists of Pepperidge Farm, and the health beverage division, which includes V8 juices. Campbell Soup Company stock market evolution: http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/cpb
About Denise M. Morrison
Denise Morrison is President and CEO of Campbell Soup Company. Denise has a distinguished track record of building strong businesses and growing iconic brands. She became Campbell’s CEO in August 2011. Previously, Denise was Executive Vice President and General Manager of Kraft Foods’ Snacks and Confections divisions. Denise earned her B.S. degree in economics and psychology from Boston College.
About Jeff Dunn
Jeff Dunn was named President-Packaged Fresh in February 2015. He reports to Denise Morrison, Campbell’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Between 2008 and 2015, Jeff was President of Bolthouse Farms. He previously had leadership positions with The Coca-Cola Company, culminating with his role as President of Coca-Cola North America. Jeff earned his B.A. degree in business from the University of Georgia and his M.B.A. degree in management from The George L. Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine.
About Garden Fresh Gourmet
Garden Fresh is a food company in Ferndale, Michigan, USA. Garden Fresh started the fresh salsa revolution in 1998, when Jack and Annette Aronson made their first batch of salsa. Today, they make the #1 fresh salsas in North America, along with chips, hummus and dips.
About Jack Aronson
Jack Aronson is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Garden Fresh Gourmet in Ferndale, Michigan. Aronson also has been involved in relief efforts in Haiti, including visiting victims in person. He also mentors local entrepreneurs and has invested in the Just Baked cupcake shop and bakery company. In 2007, he was named Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in the marketing and consumer products category.