The acquisition follows on from a minority investment in the US company through SnackFutures back in 2019
Hu chocolates
Photo as seen on Hu’s Facebook page

Mondelēz International has acquired Hu Master Holdings, the parent company of Hu Products, a fast-growing US-based snacking company offering high-quality snacks made from simple ingredients.

Hu has been a portfolio company of SnackFutures, the corporate venture arm of Mondelēz, since April 2019.

Mondelēz’s minority investment in Hu granted a right of first offer to acquire the company. Following a competitive bid for Hu, Mondelēz acquired 100% ownership of the brand in a deal that closed on 4 January. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

“Hu is a strong strategic complement to our snacking portfolio in North America,” said Glen Walter, EVP & president, Mondelēz International North America.

Walter noted that as a wellbeing brand platform, Hu provides further growth opportunities in chocolate, cross-category potential in crackers, as well as meaningful opportunities to expand distribution including in e-commerce and premium conventional retail.

“We’ve been very impressed with the Hu management team as a minority investor and look forward to working with Jordan Brown and Mark Ramadan and the rest of the Hu team to provide support and resources for the brand’s next chapter of growth,” explained Walter.

Hu, which comes from the phrase ‘get back to human’ was founded in 2012 as a family business by Jason Karp and siblings Jordan Brown and Jessica (Brown) Karp.

Jason Karp said: “Eight years ago, we felt there was a need for delicious food that could change how you feel and complement a healthier lifestyle.

“Mondelēz International has been our minority partner for almost two years, and we are excited to fully join their family of brands because we believe its resources, strengths and progressive vision can help us accelerate positive change within snacking and grow the Hu platform in a bigger and broader way.”

Hu: Challenger brand inspired in the paleo movement

Hu began as Hu Kitchen in New York City, a high-end restaurant and market focused on delicious foods with simple, real ingredients.

The business went on to expand its award-winning vegan and paleo-friendly chocolate bars, which follow a strict set of Ultrasimple™ ingredient guardrails and sourcing practices. Hu’s chocolate was inspired by the paleo movement and developed by the founding family.

The brand is deemed a category leader in premium chocolate in the US, and one of the fastest-growing confectionery brands in the natural channel.

Recently, Hu has broadened its offerings to include premium, grain-free crackers and begun scaling its distribution to grocery stores nationwide.

Hu is the latest addition to Mondelēz’s portfolio of challenger brands alongside Tate’s and Perfect Snacks. It will operate as part of the North American Ventures business model and remain focused on its core mission of delivering ultra-high-quality chocolate and snacks with strict ingredient and sourcing guardrails.

Mondelēz said it will operate Hu as a separate business to nurture its entrepreneurial spirit and maintain the authenticity of the brand and culture while providing resources to help accelerate Hu’s growth.

Hu will continue to produce all products at current manufacturing facilities and its senior leadership will receive a contingent payment based on future performance of the company.

Date published: 6 January 2021

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