Hershey Buys ONE Brands to Boost Snacks Push

The $397 million purchase of the maker of ONE Bars furthers Hershey's strategy to become a "snacking powerhouse."
Matthew HellerAugust 28, 2019

Hershey has expanded its push to become a “snacking powerhouse” by acquiring sweet nutrition bar maker ONE Brands for $397 million.

The purchase of the maker of ONE Bars, formerly known as Oh Yeah! Nutrition, is at least Hershey’s fifth investment in snacks since late 2017, coming only a week after it bought a minority stake in Irish protein bars company Fulfil.

The market for health and wellness snack bars is expected to grow at a 2.4% CAGR from total revenues of $6.98 billion in 2018 to $7.88 billion in 2023.

“ONE’s portfolio of great tasting nutrition bars, with indulgent flavors such as Birthday Cake, Maple Glazed Doughnut, and Peanut Butter Pie, will be a strong strategic fit within our overall innovative snacking powerhouse vision,” Mary Beth West, Hershey’s chief growth officer.

“Our beloved confection brands will continue to be the engine that drives our business while we broaden our better-for-you portfolio, offering more snacking choices for more consumers,” she added.

Hershey believes ONE Brands will complement its existing Oatmega business, which was acquired as part of the $1.6 billion purchase of Amplify Snack Brands last year.

“ONE Bars are the fastest growing low-sugar, high protein bars in the U.S. … We will bring our expertise in sales and distribution, category management, digital commerce, and supply chain efficiencies to grow this [nutrition bars] category,” a Hershey spokesman told Forbes.

ONE Brands was founded in 1999 by Ron McAfee. CAVU Venture Partners acquired a significant stake in the company in January 2017.

“We’re proud of the brand we built and look forward to continuing to build on our momentum with the strength and capabilities that Hershey can provide,” McAfee said.

Hershey also bought Pirate Brands for $420 million in 2018, giving it rights to snack brands including Pirate’s Booty, Smart Puffs, and Original Tings. Clif Bar leads the $3.8 billion U.S. nutrition bars category, followed by Quest and RXBar.