Odwalla Eliminates Fresh Samantha Line
Three years after buying Fresh Samantha Juices for an estimated $27 million in stock, Odwalla Inc. has pulled the plug on the brand. The Saco, Maine, producer of such concoctions as Desperately Seeking C and Mango Mama may contribute some products to the Odwalla line, but a lot of overlap exists between the two, said Odwalla president Shawn Sugarman. Odwalla, based in Half Moon Bay, Calif., closed Fresh Samantha's Saco plant in 2001.
Hormel Foods Adds to Nutritional Portfolio
Century Foods International, which makes nutritional ingredients used by TwinLab Corp., EAS Inc. and Prolab Nutrition, was acquired by Hormel Foods Corp. for $115 million in cash. Hormel—maker of Spam, Dinty Moore stew and Hormel Chili—will add Century to its Hormel Healthlabs Inc. subsidiary, a little-known unit of the Austin, Minn., company. Healthlabs, whose products include Herb-Ox broths and Sin Free fat-free baking mixes, reported 18 percent volume growth in its most recent quarter from its food products for patients with digestive disorders, trouble swallowing and other ailments. Century Foods, based in Sparta, Wis., makes dairy proteins, cheeses, weight-loss and muscle-building powders, drinks and bars for 400 customers. Its founder and chief executive, Michael Otten, died unexpectedly last year. The company operates four processing plants and a research facility in Wisconsin and reported $125 million in sales last year.
Abbott Pays $160 M For Sports Bar Maker
Pharmaceutical giant Abbott Laboratories will acquire ZonePerfect Nutrition Co. and its line of Zone Diet energy bars, meals, supplements and drinks for $160 million in cash, the companies announced July 24. ZonePerfect, based in Beverly, Mass., will operate as a unit of Abbott's Ross Products Division, which makes medical nutrition products such as Glucerna weight-loss shakes for diabetics, Ensure nutrition shakes and Similac infant formula. The deal gives Abbott, based in Chicago, a way to market nutrition products to healthy people; ZonePerfect saw reported gross revenue rise almost 90 percent in its most recent quarter, to $25.5 million. Abbott's nutritional sales fell 7.1 percent in its second quarter to $478 million, even as global sales in the category increased 9.5 percent.
Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIV/number 9/p. 11