Mars Acquires Kevin’s Natural Foods

July 5, 2023
Meals, sides and sauce maker will join Mars’ Food & Nutrition business.

In a reminder that Mars Inc. does have some dinnertime food products, the candy and pet food giant today (July 5) revealed an agreement to acquire Kevin’s Natural Foods, a Modesto, Calif., maker of sous-vide meals, sides and sauces. Price was not disclosed.

“Using whole foods and simple ingredients, [Kevin’s] meets the needs of today’s busy consumers by helping them eat healthier food within minutes, without sacrificing on bold world flavors,” the announcement said. “Kevin’s has enjoyed double-digit growth since it was founded in 2019 and is now available across 17,000+ retail locations, from grocery stores and supermarkets through to digital commerce.”

Kevin’s Natural Foods will operate as a standalone business within Mars Food & Nutrition, reporting to its president, Shaid Shah. That division also has Ben’s Original (formerly Uncle Ben’s), Seeds of Change and Tasty Bite, plus a handful of businesses in other countries. Kevin’s would appear to be Mars’ only U.S. operation requiring refrigerated distribution – perhaps enabling Mars Petcare to enter the refrigerated pet food segment?

Co-founded by Dan Costa, Kelsie Costa-Olson and Kevin McCray, Kevin’s Natural Foods “was born out of Kevin’s desire to be healthier himself, as well as to help other people eat well.” The company has approximately 180 employees, with products currently sold in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Mexico.

Apparently CEO Costa will be staying on. This acquisition includes an exit of Kevin’s minority partners, TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P., an international investment management firm, and NewRoad Capital Partners.

About the Author

Dave Fusaro | Editor in Chief

Dave Fusaro has served as editor in chief of Food Processing magazine since 2003. Dave has 30 years experience in food & beverage industry journalism and has won several national ASBPE writing awards for his Food Processing stories. Dave has been interviewed on CNN, quoted in national newspapers and he authored a 200-page market research report on the milk industry. Formerly an award-winning newspaper reporter who specialized in business writing, he holds a BA in journalism from Marquette University. Prior to joining Food Processing, Dave was Editor-In-Chief of Dairy Foods and was Managing Editor of Prepared Foods.

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