Mondelez International on Feb. 16 announced the acquisition of Enjoy Life Foods, a private, Schiller Park, Ill.-based snack company specializing in "the fast-growing 'free from' segment," as the acquirer put it.
Enjoy Life, formed in 2001, offers more than 40 products in cookies, chocolate, snack bars and savory snacks, all of which are allergy-friendly and gluten-free. Enjoy Life's products are free from the eight most common allergens - wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shellfish - which together account for about 90 percent of all food allergies.
"As we focus on continuing to drive growth in snacking, the acquisition of Enjoy Life Foods is a great strategic fit for us," said Mark Clouse, chief growth officer at Mondelez, who indicated his company could take Enjoy Life outside the U.S.
He said the "free-from" market in the U.S. is $12 billion and growing at strong double-digit rates, driven by an increasing incidence of food allergies and food intolerances as well as consumers adopting "free from" as a healthy-lifestyle option.
Scott Mandell, CEO and founder of Enjoy Life Foods, and other members of the management team will continue to lead the company. Mondelez will operate Enjoy Life Foods as a separate, wholly owned subsidiary.