Mondelez reportedly nears deal to purchase 100% of disruptive Paleo snack maker

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Hu Master was created in 2012 to 'Get Back to Human' with healthier lifestyles. Pic: Hu Master
Hu Master was created in 2012 to 'Get Back to Human' with healthier lifestyles. Pic: Hu Master

Related tags Mondelez International Oreos better for you Paleo Hu Master vegan clean label

The owner of the Oreo and Ritz brands, among others, is taking another step in its strategy to enhance its snack portfolio with healthier fare by acquiring the remaining shares it does not already own in Hu Master Holdings.

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.

Better-for-you journey

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.

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