Here's why Conagra is buying snack companies

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Here's why Conagra is buying snack companies

03/17/2017

Conagra Brands announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire protein-based snacking businesses Thanasi Foods, maker of Duke's meat snacks, and BIGS LLC, maker of BIGS seeds.  

Duke's is a fast-growing premium meat snack brand, with products including Duke's Smoked Shorty Sausages and Duke's Steak & Brisket Strips. BIGS produces a line of premium seed snacks, including jumbo in-shell sunflower seeds, sunflower seed kernels and roasted pumpkin seeds. 

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal, subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close this summer, according to Conagra.

"This is another exciting step in our ongoing efforts to reshape our portfolio to be more premium and modern," said Sean Connolly, president and chief executive officer of Conagra Brands. "These on-trend brands extend our meat snacks and seeds businesses into faster-growing, more premium segments. We are looking forward to working with the Thanasi team to grow the brands further and create value for our shareholders."

The Conagra deal is interesting because of three trends: Consumers are buying more protein snacks, meat snack sales are soaring, and big CPG companies such as Conagra are increasingly buying smaller brands in order to drive growth. 

Conagra currently already manages the Slim Jim meat stick brand and the DAVID Seeds brand. The strategic inclusion of on-trend brands such as Thanasi and BIGS will reinforce Conagra's seed and meat business lines.