Georgia-based Flowers Foods, a manufacturer of packaged bakery foods, is taking advantage of the growing consumer trend toward healthier food options by making two organic bakery deals in less than a month.
Last week, the company purchased Alpine Valley Bread Company, a family-owned producer of certified organic and all-natural breads in the US, for $120 million in cash and stock. Alpine Valley Bread Company was founded in 1997 with the vision of baking nutritious, organic and flavorful bread, free of artificial ingredients.. Its product line includes Super Grains, 21 Whole Grains, Multi Grain Omega-3, Sprouted Wheat with Flaxseed and other breads that are USDA Organic certified, Non-GMO Project verified and kosher certified. The company employs 282 and operates two bakeries in Mesa.
“Alpine Valley Bread Company will further strengthen our company,” says Allen Shiver, Flowers’ president and CEO. “With its extensive portfolio of on-trend organic products, Alpine Valley has a deeply rooted culture of excellence, service and commitment. We are especially pleased to welcome Alpine’s team members who will bring expertise in the development, production and delivery of organic breads to Flowers.” On August 12, Flowers Foods announced it will acquire Dave’s Killer Bread for approximately $275 million in cash. Founded as Nature Bake in 1955 by the Dahl family, Dave’s Killer Bread has grown to offer 17 varieties of whole-grain organic bakery products distributed across Canada and the US, and is now the largest organic bread company in North America. Dave’s Killer Bread employs 300 people and operates one bakery in Milwaukie, OR.
Flowers Foods—whose current brands include Wonder, Nature’s Own, Sunbeam, Blue Bird and Tastykake—had sales of $3.75 billion in 2014, but will spend more than $400 in just the past month on organic acquisitions. These moves are part of an overall strategy to align the company with shifting consumer preferences toward natural, organic food with fewer ingredients. According to IRI data, the organic bread market has grown at a rate of 27 percent over the past four years, significantly outperforming the broader $23 billion US retail baked goods market.