The Campbell Soup Company announced Tuesday it has entered into an agreement to acquire branded refrigerated salsa company Garden Fresh Gourmet for $231 million.
Garden Fresh, which also manufacturers hummus, digs and tortilla chips, will be another addition into Campbell’s fresh and organic portfolio as the company seeks to keep up with consumer preferences that have shifted away from its traditional soup products.
“The acquisition of Garden Fresh Gourmet is another milestone in reshaping our portfolio toward faster-growing categories, including packaged fresh and organic foods,” said 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.”
According to Campbell’s, Garden Fresh Gourmet will become part of the company’s fresh division (formerly called Packaged Fresh), leveraging the Bolthouse Farms refrigerated fresh platform. The division will focus on building the company’s scale and accelerating growth in this category.
“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,” said 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’s $100 million in net sales last year will help grow the Campbell Fresh division to more than $1 billion in annual net sales.
Founded in 1998, Garden Fresh has approximately 500 employee with headquarters in Ferndale, MI. The company also has operations in Grand Rapids, MI; Inkster, MI; and Detroit. Garden Fresh Gourmet will continue to operate out of Ferndale, and will be led by Todd Putman, general manager–Garden Fresh, within the Campbell Fresh division.