Campbell Soup Co. on July 6 revealed an agreement to buy Pacific Foods of Oregon for $700 million in cash. Founded in 1987, Pacific Foods primarily makes organic broth and soup as well as shelf-stable plant-based beverages and other meals and sides.
Pacific Foods "has a sustained track record of growth," the announcement said, and generated $218 million in sales in the 12 months ending May 31.
The acquisition furthers Campbell’s efforts in health and well-being and gives the big company more access to natural and organic customers and channels. And Campbell will lend its expertise and scale to Pacific Foods and promises to expand distribution, boost marketing support for brand building and invest in R&D and the supply chain.
Pacific Foods will become part of Campbell’s Americas Simple Meals and Beverages division, which includes Campbell’s soup, simple meals and shelf-stable beverage units in the U.S., Canada and Latin America and includes brands including Campbell’s, V8, Swanson, Prego, Pace and Plum Organics. The division is led by President Mark Alexander.
Campbell plans to continue to operate Pacific Foods out of its Tualatin, Ore., home, maintain the 540 employees and keep on CEO and co-founder Chuck Eggert.
This is Campbell’s fifth acquisition in five years as the company reshapes its portfolio. Recent purchases have been Bolthouse Farms in 2012, Plum Organics and European biscuit company Kelsen in 2013, and fresh salsa and hummus maker Garden Fresh Gourmet in 2015.