Campbell Sells Off Garden Fresh Gourmet, Plus a Plant

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Feb 27, 2019

As promised last year, Campbell Soup Co. is beginning to shed some recent acquisitions. Campbell on Feb. 26 announced an agreement to sell its Garden Fresh Gourmet business to an affiliate of Fountain of Health USA, a maker of hummus, dips, variety packs, prepared salads, pâtés, and frozen desserts. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but Campbell paid $231 million for the business in 2015.

Garden Fresh Gourmet is part of the Campbell Fresh division, which also includes Bolthouse Farms. A week earlier, Campbell announced the sale of its Everett, Wash., refrigerated soup plant, which also was part of Campbell Fresh, to an affiliate of the Joshua Green Corp., a Seattle-based private investment company. The price of that 225,000-sq.-ft. plant also was not disclosed.

The divestitures are part of a board of directors-led strategy and portfolio review, outlined in August 2018, in which Campbell indicated it would divest both its Campbell Fresh and Campbell International businesses to increase the company’s focus, reduce debt and strengthen its balance sheet.

The processes to sell Bolthouse Farms and Campbell International are both on-track, the company says, and buyers should be named by the end of fiscal 2019 (July 31).

Founded in 1998 and acquired by Campbell in 2015, Garden Fresh Gourmet claims to be the No. 1 branded refrigerated salsa in the U.S. The unit also makes, sells and distributes hummus, dips and tortilla chips both under the Garden Fresh Gourmet brand and as private label products. Garden Fresh Gourmet is located in Ferndale, Mich., and also has operations in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in Campbell’s fiscal 2019 third quarter (by April 30).