Mars Food Buys Stake in Preferred Brands

By Lauren R. Hartman, Product Development Editor

Aug 16, 2017

Mars Food, a segment of Mars Inc., has signed an agreement to acquire majority stake in Preferred Brands International, a Stamford, Conn., manufacturer and marketer of ready-to-heat Indian and Asian food products sold primarily under the Tasty Bite brand, for an unspecified amount.

While most Tasty Bite product sales occur in North America, Preferred Brands International also makes products sold through retailers in the U.K. and Australia and through food services in India.

The products, which include Tasty Bite vegetarian Indian/Asian entrees, spice and simmer meal kits and organic rice and lentils, are manufactured at the company’s manufacturing facility in Pune. A majority of the products are exported to the U.S. Preferred Brands is also present in the foodservice business under which it supplies food products to other food manufacturers and quick-service restaurants in India.

"Tasty Bite’s broad range of dinner-time products, focused on Indian and Asian cuisines, makes it a natural complement to our existing portfolio," said Fiona Dawson, global president of Mars Food. "Upon closing of the acquisition, Mars Food will expand our all-natural vegetarian offerings in the U.S., and leverage Tasty Bite’s strong product development pipeline, flavor expertise, and strategic sourcing of quality ingredients throughout our portfolio," she said.

Mars Food owns brands such as Uncle Ben’s, Masterfoods, Dolmio and Seeds of Change, said Ashok Vasudevan, CEO of Tasty Bite. "Mars Foods’ strong brand portfolio, global infrastructure, and shared values makes it well-positioned to take Tasty Bite to the next level."

The acquisition of Preferred Brands International is subject to applicable regulatory approvals and is expected to close by end of 2017.

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