The maker of Optimum Nutrition and Amazing Grass has officially entered an agreement to acquire SlimFast, a maker of meal replacement shakes, for $350 million. Glanbia is known for their popular protein and nutrition powders and through this acquisition they will own a well known diet brand and SlimFast’s sister company, HNS.
Glanbia made the deal with Kainos Capital, a leading food and consumer-focused private equity firm that had SlimFast under their portfolio. Kainos purchased SlimFast from Unilever in 2014. SlimFast is known to be a leading provider of nutritional products that are designed to help in weight loss. According to the company, they have 98 percent of consumer awareness in the meal replacement category.
“Our acquisition of SlimFast came with no employees or systems. Behind the leadership of CEO Chris Tisi, who we partnered with when we invested in his company HNS in 2014, we quickly built a 60-plus person team in the US and the UK. This team, combined with our own internal resources, did a great job revitalizing what was an orphan brand within a large multinational company. SlimFast is positioned to continue its great success as a part of Glanbia,” said Andrew Rosen, managing partner of Kainos.
This is the third time that the SlimFast brand has been acquired since 2000. So it looks like food companies look at SlimFast as a disposable asset. Nevertheless, SlimFast is well known in the consumer space as a diet brand, which companies can use to their advantage.
After Glanbia officially acquires the brand, it is likely that the SlimFast will be promoted in the fitness industry as well. Glanbia is known to make popular high-protein and nutrient dense products, which appeal to health-focused consumers. Now that there are variety of popular diets in the consumer space such as the Keto and Whole30 diet, the brand needs to tailor their products and marketing approaches to fit into these trends. This might be why SlimFast has started to offer more products with popular qualities. However the brand still needs to work on their advertising and promotional reach.
“It was very important for us to work with our retail partners to reclaim the SlimFast heritage, which is providing effective solutions for real people who desire to lose weight or live a healthy lifestyle. By partnering with Kainos, my team and I had the resources and support to dramatically increase our consumer base and offer a variety of innovative, great-tasting and effective products, including high-protein SlimFast Advanced, SlimFast Advanced Energy with caffeine, and our most recent Keto product offering,” said Chris Tisi, CEO of SlimFast.
Glanbia’s announcement comes as the company takes steps to expand their product reach in the health food industry. In September, the company announced a partnership with Güdpod, a manufacturer of a Keurig-like device that makes nutritional shakes. So it looks like Glanbia is looking into producing more convenient and easy to make products. Slim Fast might also come in Güdpod’s pod format if it becomes more in demand.
Nevertheless, Glanbia will need to innovate SlimFast so that it can relevant in the changing consumer space as well as push the brand through marketing channels such as social media.