Kellogg Co., Battle Creek, Mich., has agreed to acquire Chicago Bar Co., LLC, maker of RXBAR clean-label protein bars, for $600 million. RXBAR will continue to operate independently as a standalone business, leveraging Kellogg's scale and resources to continue driving its growth, according to Kellogg's website press release.
The acquisition allows the cereal giant to add a popular clean-label protein brand, which it says is the fastest-growing nutrition bar in the U.S.
“RXBAR is a unique and innovative company,” said Steve Cahillane, CEO of Kellogg, who is tasked with aligning the company with consumer demands for more "natural," fresh foods. "Its values, people and cutting-edge approach represent an exciting opportunity for our business. Adding a pioneer in clean-label, high-protein snacking to our portfolio bolsters our already strong wholesome snacks offering. RXBAR is an excellent strategic fit for Kellogg as we pivot to growth. With its strong millennial consumption and diversified channel presence including e-commerce, RXBAR is perfectly positioned to perform well against future food trends.”
With a base of egg whites, fruit and nuts, each RXBAR provides 12g of protein in 210-220 calories. Chicago Bar also recently launched RXBAR Kids, which contain the same core ingredients as RXBARs, but in kid-friendly flavors and portions.
"We carefully considered who the right partner would be for RXBAR's future," said Peter Rahal, CEO and co-founder of RXBAR. "We have always been committed to delivering the highest quality products that taste great, and being radically candid and transparent with our consumers, and these priorities remain. Joining Kellogg is not only a great cultural fit, but it provides us with the tools and resources to accelerate our growth so the brand can scale even faster than it is today."
Many of Kellogg's competitors are also purchasing smaller brands to adapt. Conagra Brands Inc. earlier this year bought Duke's meat snacks and recently Angie's Boomchickapop popcorn. Campbell Soup Co. said in July it was acquiring organic soup maker, Pacific Foods, for $700 million. And last year, General Mills Inc. bought Epic Provisions meat snacks.
Kellogg's North American president Paul Norman, said Kellogg's focus will be on helping to drive the brand's continued growth. "The RXBAR team has built an incredible business, with impressive growth and profitability," he said.
The acquisition by Kellogg is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of 2017.