Italian confectionary giant, Ferrero will acquire Eat Natural, expanding into the healthy snacking market for the first time.
The Nutella manufacturer will take over Eat Natural’s production facilities in Halstead, UK and will retain the management and employees.
The Ferrero Group currently own sweet treat brands such as Ferrero Rocher, Nutella, Kinder Surprise and Thorntons Continental.
Giovanni Ferrero, executive chairman of the Ferraro Group, said: “Eat Natural are an excellent strategic fit for the Ferrero Group as we continue to expand our overall footprint and product offerings into the healthier snacking market segment.”
The healthy snacking market has boomed in recent years. Statista reported that global healthy food and beverage sales were worth $259 billion in 2020.
Lockdown fuelled the snacking industry further. A study by Kantar found that in the UK, within five weeks of lockdown boredom-driven snacking increased by 50 per cent.
Conscious of evidence that linked a higher Body Mass Index to a greater risk of mortality from contracting Covid, people searched for more nutritious options than traditional crisps and chocolate. The Grocer reported that the term “immune system” was up 66 per cent in food talk.
Lapo Civiletti, chief executive officer of Ferrero, said the acquisition “will allow us to be present in this relevant market segment, fulfilling the evolving needs and trend of consumers.”