Justin's

Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE: HRL) is purchasing nut butter producer Justin’s LLCfor an undisclosed amount, as the company continues to grow beyond traditional meats. 

Justin’s, based in Boulder, Colorado, makes nut butters, peanut butter cups and snack packs under the Justin’s brand. Its products come in dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, maple almond butter, honey almond butter and classic almond butter flavors. The dark, milk and white chocolate peanut butter cups are USDA-certified organic. After the deal closes, the target will become part of Hormel’s grocery products division.

“Nut butter snacks and organic peanut butter cups align perfectly with our goal of complementing our existing brands with new offerings that resonate with younger, on-the-go and more health conscious consumers,” says Hormel CEO Jeffrey Ettinger.

Hormel, located in Austin, Minnesota, was founded in 1891 as a seller of pork and meat products. Driven by changes in consumer preferences for food, Hormel has been expanding beyond traditional meat-based proteins – into non-meat proteins, organic meats and non-meat proteins and into ethnic-style protein meals. For example, the company acquired natural meat distributor Applegate Farms in 2015. In 2014, Hormel purchased Muscle Milk maker CytoSport Inc. Hormel won Mergers & Acquisitions’ 2013 Mid-Market Award for Deal of the Year for the $700 million acquisition of the Skippy brand. Hormel vice president of corporate development Fred Halvin spoke to Mergers & Acquisitions about the company’s Mexican food brands.

HT Capital Advisors is advising Hormel, and Piper Jaffray & Co. (NYSE: PJC) is doing the same for Justin’s.

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