The public market is nothing new to the natural products industry—Hain Celestial and Whole Foods Market have been on the open market since the 1990s—but lately the name of the game has been strategic acquisition. Major food companies such as General Mills and Coca-Cola have been in the habit of snatching up small brands, and entrepreneurs have selling in mind once they reach sizable distribution.
Public markets themselves have been in sour stead for the last decade, with nowhere near the vibrancy they showed in the '90s before the dotcom collapse and the Enron scandal. Now, after the 2008/2009 collapse, Wall Street is in the middle of a credibility crisis unlike any other. Who’s more vilified than Goldman Sachs? Well, it’s time to get over it, because they’re underwriting some of your favorite brands.
In 2012, a few companies took the initiative to brave the wilds of Wall Street, bringing high-growth, healthy brands to the steely world of finance. From macaroni to milk to supplements, here are four nutrition companies making waves in the public market this year.