Campbell Soup Co. to buy US peer Sovos Brands

The deal, which values Sovos Brands at $2.7bn, would give Campbell brands including Rao’s sauces.

Jars of Rao’s cooking sauces on sale in California, 26 August 2021. Credit: ZikG /

Campbell Soup Co. has struck a deal to acquire fellow US food manufacturer Sovos Brands.

The agreement values Sovos, the owner of brands including Michael Angelo’s frozen meals and Noosa yogurt, at $2.7bn.

Sovos’ best-selling brand is Rao’s, under which the business sells sauces, soups, pasta and frozen meals.


Campbell, home to Prego pasta sauces as well as Campbell’s soup, described Rao’s as a “premium, market-leading” brand. Rao’s accounted for 69% of Sovos Brands’ “adjusted” net sales in the company’s 2022 financial year, Campbell said.

“This acquisition fits perfectly with and accelerates our strategy of focusing on one geography, two divisions and select key categories that we know well,” Campbell president and CEO Mark Clouse said.

“The Sovos Brands portfolio strengthens and diversifies our meals and beverages division and, paired with our faster-growing and differentiated snacks division, makes Campbell one of the most dependable, growth-oriented names in food.”

Sovos Brands was set up in 2017 by private-equity firm Advent International.

Advent formed Sovos with the aim of growing it into a “scale player” in the US consumer goods sector with a portfolio of brands that it plans to build and acquire. That year, the company bought two US businesses: Michael Angelo’s Gourmet Foods and Rao’s Specialty Foods. Sovos followed those deals with one in 2018 – Noosa – and in 2020, when it acquired Birch Benders, a producer of pancake and waffle mixes.


In 2021, Sovos was floated on Nasdaq.

Last year, the company generated net sales of $878.4m, up 22.1% on 2021.

The group posted a net loss of $53.5m due to a “loss on asset sale” linked to the disposal of Birch Benders. Sovos sold the business to Hometown Food Co., a baking brands platform owned by investment firm Brynwood Partners, earlier this year.

Adjusted net income grew 11.3% in 2022 to $60.4m.

Campbell said the $2.7bn enterprise value the planned acquisition places on Sovos represents an “adjusted EBITDA multiple” of 14.6 times, including “expected annual run rate synergies of approximately $50m”.

Todd Lachman, Sovos’ founder, president and CEO, said: ““We have built a one-of-a-kind, high growth food company focused on taste-led products across a portfolio of premium brands, anchored by the Rao’s brand. This transaction is expected to create substantial value for our shareholders, resulting in a 92% increase from our 2021 IPO price.”

The deal has been approved by the boards of both companies. Campbell expects to finalise the transaction by the end of the year.

In pre-market trading, Campbell’s share price stood at $44.36 at 12:20 BST. The shares closed on Friday at $45.15.


Nestlé to invest $550m in chocolate, confectionery production in Brazil

The funding itself is triple the amount invested in the last four years in Brazil, according to Nestlé.

Credit: rafastockbr / Shutterstock.

Nestlé is set to invest 2.7bn reais ($550.8m) into its chocolate and biscuit operations in Brazil up to 2026.

The funding itself is triple the amount invested in the last four years in Brazil, according to Nestlé.

The Swiss giant will mainly put the investment towards expanding and modernising production lines at factories in Caçapava and Marília in São Paulo, as well as in Vila Velha in Espírito Santo. These facilities employ more than 4,000 people and are export hubs for over 20 countries.


In Caçapava, Nestlé produces the KitKat brand, while in Vila Velha, production is focused on the Garoto brand of chocolates. The Marília unit manufactures biscuits.

Two months ago, Nestlé received the green light to acquire Garoto more than two decades after signing an agreement to buy the Brazilian chocolate maker.

The world’s largest food maker struck a deal to acquire Garoto in 2002 but has been awaiting full competition clearance.

Nestlé has been able to keep investing at the Garoto production site in Vila Velha in eastern Brazil, although it has had to keep management separate.

Through its new investment package, Nestlé will also aim to accelerate the development of new products and expand ESG actions in its operations.


The group has also planned to expand the Nestlé Cocoa Plan sourcing programme, which has been in operation in Brazil since 2010. The scheme encourages regenerative agriculture practices in the cocoa supply chain, Nestlé said.

Patricio Torres, vice president of biscuits and chocolates for Nestlé’s Brazilian arm, said: “Nestlé’s Brazilian operation has been growing consistently and sustainably over the years. In the last 12 months alone, we have seen an increase of 24%, based on the high demand in Brazil for the chocolate and biscuit portfolio.”

Overall, the company employs more than 30,000 people in Brazil and has 20 industrial units and nine distribution centres.

In February 2022, Nestlé revealed that it was increasing it investment in the South American country to more than 1.8bn reais for that year, investing in areas including production, distribution and technology.

The KitKat maker’s first-half net sales for 2023 amounted to SFr46.29bn ($53bn) while its Zone Latin America comprised over SFr6bn of that.

Brazil posted “double-digit growth” for the period.

Nestlé said: “By product category, confectionery was the largest growth contributor, reflecting strong demand for KitKat and key local brands as well as new product launches.”

The new era of health and wellness in America

We’re entering a new era in health and wellness that offers CPG companies more opportunities than ever, argues Victor Martino.

Walmart grocery store bread aisle, Grovetown, USA, 29 April 2022 (Image credit: Wirestock Creators //

We’re at a unique crossroads or inflection point in health and wellness in the US.

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies have, like the industry as a whole, successfully commercialised health and wellness as a brand and product attribute – the selling of health and wellness through foods and beverages – and consumers have accepted this commercialisation, albeit with some discontent.

The Covid-19 pandemic, which is largely in the rear-view mirror but isn’t over, in my analysis is the key reason for this new state of health and wellness in America. It’s created a new mindset among consumers that’s elevated prevention and the role consumable food and beverage products can play in health and wellness to new heights of importance in day-to-day life, quality of life and longevity.


The research is in

Seattle-based research firm The Hartman Group has, like me, been looking into the new health and wellness paradigm – what it calls “The Great Wellness Reset.”

Let’s set the stage with a summary of the research The Hartman Group is doing. It serves as a good framework for what I call the new health and wellness paradigm in America.

Laurie Demerritt, CEO of The Hartman Group, says we’re undergoing the aforementioned “Great Wellness Reset.” I agree with her. According to Demerritt, the reset is driven by four trends, which she describes below, that impact how consumers think about and act on their health and wellness.

“First, let us consider the perennial trend of modern health and wellness culture emphasising solutions that make tangible, meaningful contributions to quality of life. Consumers have long aspired to increase longevity, but wellness is now as much about living an enjoyable, well-balanced life as it is about physical fitness, and most consumers seek out health in service of feeling well, both today and in the distant future. This long-term shift in attitude is closely tied to the growing attention to mental health that pervades modern wellness culture.

“Second, we are bearing witness to the evolution of a long-term trend, the backlash over the commercialisation of health and wellness. Consumers report frustration with the commodification of health in many areas: the proliferation of false promises; diet-oriented, sugar-free or non-fat products that turn out to just be unhealthy in a different way and efforts by companies to profit from consumers’ pain, illness or desperation. As a result, many consumers would like to opt out of the commercial wellness industry but find it difficult or impossible to do so.


“Third, consumers are centring their attention on fundamentals after the urgency felt during the pandemic. After three years with health and immunity as a top priority, consumers are refocusing on the basics – those aspects of health and wellness that are most important to them, most directly impact their overall well-being and quality of life, and that are most within their control.

“Fourth, inflationary pressures are encouraging the exploration of budget-friendly approaches in a trend we hope is short-term. The economic squeeze consumers feel can seem particularly acute with respect to health and wellness given this is often a high priority but can also require significant financial resources. Lower-income households are affected by inflation to a greater extent, often having to shift or forego wellness priorities in favour of more budget-friendly options.”

Entering a new era

If my analysis and the research from The Hartman Group is correct, we’re entering a new era in health and wellness that offers CPG companies more sales and growth opportunities than has ever been the case.

For example, the concept of food as medicine has been a growing one over the last decade and it’s been embraced by numerous packaged foods and beverage companies large and small, but it isn’t really the best way to look at health and wellness. Instead, the better framework is prevention. This is where consumers have and continue to move to in their thinking and behaviour and it’s where the most progressive companies with brands focusing on health and wellness are operating.

The Hartman Group’s four trends are important for CPG companies with brands involved in the health and wellness space to be cognisant of and to understand. The new health and wellness paradigm comes with a new health and wellness consumer in my analysis and opinion, and like Demeritt points out in the second trend, many consumers are frustrated with the commercial wellness industry and would even like to opt out but aren’t doing so because health and wellness has become that important to their lives.

Five ‘must follows’

In my analysis and opinion – and I’m currently involved in the health and wellness space as a CPG brand practitioner as well as conducting research five ‘must follows’ by CPG brands are essential for brand success when it comes to the new health and wellness paradigm and the new health and wellness consumer.

Authenticity. Brands that try to fake health and wellness attributes will be discovered and punished by consumers. Keeping it real is a must.

Price. As The Hartman Group’s research points out, inflation has thrown some ink in the health and wellness ointment for consumers. The highest food inflation since the 1970s has caused CPG companies, particularly the majors, to continually raise prices on products. Health and wellness-oriented brands have tended to see among the highest and most-frequent price increases. Food inflation has moderated and CPG companies, particularly the majors, need to moderate or eliminate price increases. They also need to revisit past price increases on health and wellness products. Health and wellness can’t be exclusively for the wealthy. It needs to be democratised by the CPG industry.

Science. Science needs to guide product claims and attributes when it comes to health and wellness brands and products. Brands trusted by consumers are the brands that will win in the space. Third party verification also has merits, as long as the third parties are legit.

Transparency. This is the coin of the realm in the new health and wellness paradigm and with the new health and wellness consumer. Without transparency there is no trust. Without trust there is no success for brands in the health and wellness segment.

Leadership. Those brands that take the lead when it comes to health and wellness – helping consumers with information and resources rather than merely trying to sell to them – will end up garnering the most brand love and equity, which will translate to sales. We sometimes forget that a brand is much more than a unit of sales. In the health and wellness segment brands that don’t forget this will do the best.

Consumers who prioritise health

Consumers obviously exist on a continuum when it comes to health and wellness. There’s a segment, albeit a fairly small one, that cares all or very little about it, for example. Then there’s the great middle, a larger segment that cares but perhaps doesn’t view it as the primary attribute when it comes to grocery shopping and the brands and products they buy. There’s also what in my analysis and opinion is the fastest-growing of these segments, those consumers who prioritise health and wellness in their food and beverage decision-making.

Health and wellness is also relative to key attributes like taste and price. But that’s a given and doesn’t negate the fact that health and wellness and taste and price need not be mutually exclusive. Healthy brands can taste as good as unhealthy brands, for example, and consumers will almost always pay a price premium – the key is how much of a premium of course – for better-for-you food and beverage products.

The key is for CPG companies to attempt to achieve taste and price parity when it comes to health and wellness products and conventional CPG products.

We’re only in the fourth or fifth inning when it comes to health and wellness in the CPG industry. The future is bright and the industry can do much better too, which is something the new health and wellness consumer will reward.

Just Food columnist Victor Martino is a California-based strategic marketing and business development consultant, analyst, entrepreneur and writer, specialising in the US food and grocery industry. He is available for consultation at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and You can read more of his columns for Just Food here.


Press pack SPACE 2023





SPACE 2023 will take place from 12 to 14 September at the Rennes Exhibition Centre.

This 37th edition of SPACE will be dedicated to the dynamics of animal farming and will once again be a major highlight of the new agricultural season. 

SPACE 2023 is preparing in a context of rising energy costs, of generational renewal, of unprecedented high prices for agricultural products, and of climate change. In such a shifting environment and in the face of the structural changes within our agricultural sector, SPACE is becoming an ever more essential event for all professionals to gather information, exchange ideas and find new synergies to continue to develop and adapt animal farming in the regions of Western France.

The international context is also evolving significantly. The war in Ukraine has had a strong impact on the agricultural policies of countries that are dependent on Ukrainian and Russian supplies. The question of food sovereignty has become crucial for many countries, and particularly for developing countries. Our companies and organisations are well equipped to position themselves on these markets. The international scope of SPACE, which welcomes more than 120 countries every year here in Rennes, is a clear demonstration of our ability to offer solutions to this global food challenge. Many delegations from all over the world are expected to attend again this year, in particular from Europe, the Middle East and of course Western and Central Africa.

Press Pack May 2023
Click here to download the press pack

The number of exhibitors registered at SPACE is always very high. On 16 May, almost 1,100 exhibitors from 36 countries, including 177 new ones (76 of which are international companies).

  • New this year : New layout of the booths at SPACE 2023 to organise the activities in such a way as to make it easier for visitors to find what they are looking for and to find their way around the booths!  Click here to download the map of  SPACE 2023.
  • Marketplace : SPACE visitors can now consult the list of equipment and services that will be deployed on the stands (list updated by the exhibitors themselves).
Discover the list of exhibitors registered to date and the marketplace


The Espace for the Future will address the theme of Energy in a whole new layout and location in Hall 3.

How agriculture, although dependent on direct and indirect energy, can also be a source of solutions! 

Presentations, demonstrations, individual meetings and round tables will provide an opportunity to present the best practices in energy management, offering concrete solutions for an ever more efficient and sustainable agriculture.

More information on the Espace for the Future


550 cattle of 13 different breeds will provide a continuous spectacle in the main ring during the three-day Exhibition. 200 sheep and goats of 11 different breeds will also be shown.

Two events will highlight the 2023 Genetics Show: SPACE will host a National Charolais Breed competition on Tuesday and a European Simmental Breed Challenge on Wednesday. On Thursday, most of the day will be devoted to the Atlantic Prim’Holstein competition. The event will also feature 10 other interregional competitions, breed presentations and a multi-breed auction. 

The ‘Genomic Elite’ Multi-breed auction for dairy and mixed breeds will take place on Wednesday.

Discover the program of competitions and animal presentations


The conference programme will be full and varied again this year based on the room reservations. The extent of the topics covered makes SPACE an absolutely unique meeting place for the animal farming industry. 

Discover the conference program here


The Innov’Space competition is what makes SPACE the leading event for innovation across all the livestock sectors. Over the past 25 years, these awards have been a real quality seal for the industry. They demonstrate the extent to which our sectors are efficient, innovative and always thinking ahead. Each year, exhibitors show great interest in this label, a major commercial asset that highlights their expertise at the service of livestock farmers. 82 % of exhibitors say that SPACE is the ideal place to showcase their innovations. In 2022, 36 products, services and equipment were awarded prizes from the panel of experts. The list of the 2023 prize-winners will be published in July.



The Tech’Agri Challenge is a new innovation competition at the crossroads of the agricultural and digital sectors for Breton students, co-organised by INNOZH, Bretagne Développement Innovation and SPACE. SPACE has responded favourably to the request from INNOZH and Bretagne Développement Innovation to add the signature “by Innov’Space” to this new operation: the Tech’Agri Challenge. This innovation competition, at the crossroads of the agricultural and digital sectors, intended for Breton students, will promote innovation and research for livestock farmers among young people in training.



To respond to the issue of attracting new generations of farmers, SPACE decided in 2022 to create its Youth Forum to provide young people with a place where they can express themselves. A great opportunity for them to share their expectations and their visions of their future career. This Youth Forum will be held again this year, with a new series of events organised by the animal farming sector.



For several years, SPACE has been offering a programme dedicated aquaculture. Last year, more than 100 aquaculture exhibitors took part in SPACE, offering solutions in: animal nutrition, equipment, consulting, research, genetics, etc. With the growing participation of companies from the sector (13% growth between 2019 and 2022), the Exhibition is continuing to expand in order to become a key event for French and international businesses in the aquaculture sector. Those interested in this sector at SPACE 2023 will find: a specific itinerary around the stands, two dedicated conferences and a specific visit for international visitors.

More information  here


All media will be available: podcasts, Web TV reports, videos from the Espace for the Future, etc. In just a few clicks, a selection of content will be available according to the major themes developed during the Exhibition (by sector, news from the world of agriculture, innovations, etc). 

Check out all the SPACE audio-visual reports on th new dedicated page

Australia-listed Halo Food puts entire business up for strategic review

The review has been widened from The Healthy Mummy brand and subsidiary to all company operations.

Cows grazing in New Zealand

Australia-listed Halo Food has extended a strategic review to encompass all of the New Zealand-headquartered company’s business units and factories.

Trading as milk powder manufacturer Keytone Dairy until 2021, Halo Food has expanded through M&A and has now hired Modus Partners to conduct a review of its operations.

“The strategic review will consider all options available, for either individual business units or the company as a whole, including divestment, other M&A and/or partnership opportunities, in order to maximise shareholder value,” Halo Food said in a filing with the Australian Securities Exchange.


The Healthy Mummy subsidiary, which produces nutrition weight-loss products such as smoothies, meals and snacks, was initially put up for review in March before the current extension.

“The board has formed an opinion that the value of the underlying businesses units may be worth substantially more than the implied values based on the current listed market value of the company,” it said.

There was an executive change at the business last year, with Jourdan Thompson elevated to CEO to replace Danny Rotman, who announced his resignation in October. Halo Food’s shares closed at A$0.012 today (9 May).

Other brands in the portfolio include Tonik protein bars and shakes supplied to the Australian market and Gran’s Fudge. Halo Food owns the former Omniblend business, an Australian manufacturer of milk powders and UHT dairy drinks acquired in 2019.

Christchurch-based Halo Food is also a contract manufacturer for brands in Australia and New Zealand. It also provides private label. Customers include retailers Woolworths and Coles.


Halo Food has three manufacturing facilities in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, and another in Christchurch, New Zealand.

For the fiscal year to 31 March, Halo Food generated preliminary revenue of A$83.9m ($56.6m), up 40% on the previous 12 months. Contract manufacturing in Australia accounted for A$53.7m, the New Zealand dairy business A$12.7m and branded sales amounted to A$3.6m. Final results are due to be issued in May.

In the previous financial year, sales were A$59.9m, an increase of 18%. EBITDA turned to a A$2.3m profit from a A$2.3m loss in the prior year.