PepsiCo announced it is buying Bare Foods, a San Francisco-based startup that sells baked fruit chips and vegetable chips.
The terms were not disclosed, but CNBC, citing an unnamed source, reported the deal was valued at less than $200 million.
“PepsiCo is the right partner to help bring our simply baked fruit and vegetable snacks to even more consumers across the world,” Bare Foods Chief Executive Santosh Padki stated on Friday.
Bare Foods, which operates as Bare Snacks, said it would still operate independently from its San Francisco headquarters and report to Frito-Lay North America.
In the past, Padki has been critical of the traditional packaged-food industry.
“Big companies have faced problems with quality and not connecting to the consumer, and now they are backing into a corner,” he said in a recent interview.
“Other brands have tried to make inroads in produce, but (retail) buyers don’t really have the space.”
Bare offers apple, banana, beet and coconut chips, which are baked rather than fried. Its products are sold alongside fresh produce, making them visible to more shoppers since fewer people browse the center grocery aisles, Dow Jones reported.
“While we will continue to offer the current Bare Snacks product line, we look forward to working with the Bare Snacks team to deliver new, innovative options, and ultimately expanded distribution, to meet the ever-growing consumer demands for authentic and nutritious snacks,” the president and chief operating officer of Frito-Lay North America, Vivek Sankaran, said.
Reuters says the acquisition underscores PepsiCo’s efforts to strengthen its healthy snack portfolio as consumer tastes shift toward products that are less processed and lower in salt.
Last year, Kellogg said it would buy the owner of RXBAR protein bars for $600 million while Campbell Soup bought the maker of Cape Cod potato chips in a $4.9 billion deal.