Kind snapped up by M&M’s maker in a deal that values the healthy snack bar producer at $5bn

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

Kind's snacks are made with real, recognisable ingredients and sparked the growth of an entirely new healthy snacking category. Pic: Kind
Kind's snacks are made with real, recognisable ingredients and sparked the growth of an entirely new healthy snacking category. Pic: Kind

Related tags: Kind snacks, Mars incorporated, Healthy snacks, bee-friendly, Health and wellness, coronavirus

Candy giant Mars Inc has upped its stake in the company behind Kind nut bars and granola to expand its own portfolio into the healthier snacking space as consumers increasingly skew their focus on what snacks can bring to the table to manage their health.

Mars and Kind first cemented their partnership in 2017, when Mars bought a minority stake in Kind, taking control of Kind International. The financial injection from Mars propelled Kind’s growth outside the US and Canada to over 35 countries – including China, Germany and France – and into eight categories with items like refrigerated nut butter protein bars, dark chocolate bark and smoothie bowls.

The latest deal makes Mars the sole owner of Kind North America as well, although the business will continue to function as a separate entity within the Mars group.

Kind’s founder and executive chairman Daniel Lubetzky will also maintain a financial stake and ‘play a key role in the future development and expansion’ of the brand, according to a statement.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but experts said it reportedly values Kind at around $5bn.

Shared vision

“When we began this partnership, I said it was one built on mutual admiration and a shared vision for growth. After three years, you can see the impact, as together we have grown the healthy snacking category,”​ said Grant F. Reid, CEO of Mars.

“We’re delighted to continue to build on this success and welcome Kind North America into the Mars Family of Companies.”

The move will enable Mars to expand its portfolio – currently made up of candies like M&M’s, Snickers and Twix – with items tailored for the increasing base of health-conscious consumers.

While the sales of sweets saw a trajectory rise at the beginning of the pandemic, there are signs that consumers are now focusing on what snacks can bring to the table to manage their health.

Kinder principles

The transaction also provides the snack bar producer the opportunity to advance its Kind Promise, a set of nutrition principles that guide its innovation to build a kinder world one snack and one act at a time:

  • Kinder to our bodies: Kind has pledged to add more than two billion servings of nutrient dense foods to people’s diets by 2025. Kind claims to avoid artificial flavours, added sugar and preservatives, placing nutrition as the first and predominant criteria for every product.
  • Kinder to our planet: The company has committed to sourcing 100% of its almonds from bee friendly farms by 2025.
  • Kinder to our communities: Kind continues to break down barriers – and stand as an example for others to follow – to create more inclusive and empathetic communities.

“We are now well positioned to further advance our efforts and continue building a foremost health and wellness platform,”​ said Lubetzky.

“As we said in 2017, Mars is a company that shares KIND’s passion for business as a force for good, and I am confident that together, we will be able to make our small contribution to make this world a little kinder.”

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