The maker of Pepsi Cola and Lay’s has invested in the protein supplement industry by acquiring Health Warrior, a manufacturer of plant-based protein supplements and health bars. The move comes as PepsiCo looks to build a secure footing in the health food industry.
Health Warrior will also become the first brand to be part of PepsiCo’s new innovation program, The Hive, which focuses on building up small emerging brands. This program comes as PepsiCo aims to further expand their nutrition portfolio because of the growing consumer demand for healthy plant-based products.
“We’re thrilled to welcome the innovative Health Warrior brand to the PepsiCo family,” said Al Carey, chief executive officer of PepsiCo North America. “We continue to position ourselves at the forefront of changing consumer preferences and trends. This acquisition helps us increase our presence in the nutrition bar category, which is an attractive growth space.”
Health Warrior’s founders Dan Gluck, Nick Morris and the company’s CEO, Shane Emmett, started out as college friends who wanted to come up with nutrient dense foods that can be made available to more Americans. The company’s products are made from plant-based, superfood ingredients that are also lower in sugar, non-GMO and gluten-free. Their current products include chia and pumpkin seed nutrition bars, mug muffins and protein powder.
“We’re fired up to join PepsiCo and continue to put nutritious options within reach of significantly more people,” said Emmett. “With a shared mission to help create healthy relationships between people and food, PepsiCo is the ideal partner to bring our nutrient-dense, plant-forward offerings to even more consumers and considerably accelerate Health Warrior’s growth. This is the whole reason we started the company.”
This acquisition is one of many business moves that PepsiCo made in 2018. The company has been working hard to secure a solid position in the health food industry as consumers continue to show interest in healthier food products.
In May, the CPG giant acquired baked fruit snacks maker Bare Foods in an effort to expand their Performance with Purpose initiative to offer consumer more nutritional options. More recently, the company acquired Soda Stream for $3.2 billion in August, which was also part of their Performance with Purpose vision. The Hive seems to be an extension of the Performance for Purpose initiative as the company invests in a more targeted focus on the health food industry.
“This will enable us to continue building the Health Warrior brand at a deliberate and sustainable pace and to leverage its entrepreneurial expertise and talent to benefit our broader portfolio,” said Seth Kaufman, president of PepsiCo North America Nutrition, who oversees The Hive. “Health Warrior is a nutrition-forward trailblazer that can provide great insight into high-value categories and consumers while benefitting from our expertise and resources to bring plant-based nutrition to more people.”