The transaction – expected to be announced this week – is set to value the maker of Paleo chocolate bars and grain-free crackers at $340m.
Mondelez acquired a minority stake in Hu in 2019, seven years after the closely-held company was founded by Jason Brown and his sister and brother-in-law, Jessica and Jordan Karp.
The trio opened a restaurant (Hu Kitchen) in New York City’s Greenwich Village, before turning their hands to develop paleo friendly or ‘primal’ snacks. Motivated by their learnings to overcome Brown’s battle with autoimmune disease, the cofounders set out to create a brand that brought to life their human-centric philosophy of thriving, not just surviving, according to its website.
All its chocolate products are vegan, gluten-free and clean label, being free of dairy, GMOs, emulsifiers, soy lecithin, refined sugar, cane sugar and sugar alcohol. It also uses only USDA-Certified Organic and certified Fair Trade cocoa butter; USDA-Certified Organic cacao and Oregon Tilth Organic Certified 100% Arabica beans.
Like many other majors, recently Mondelez has been adding to its snack portfolio with brands sporting simpler ingredients to maintain a connection with consumers who are increasingly prioritising healthier lifestyles.
Three years ago, the snacks giant launched SnackFutures, a forward thinking innovation hub dedicated to capitalise on new trends and mobilise entrepreneurial talent and technologies to grow small brands with large-scale potential.
In the same year, it also snapped up better-for-you cookie maker Tate’s Bake Shop – which uses brown cane sugar and butter over high fructose corn syrup and vegetable oil – for $500m, followed by a minority stake in refrigerated protein bar maker Perfect Snacks a year later.
Hu is expected to operate separately from other Mondelez divisions.