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Business briefs – Danone – Brenntag – Kerry – Nestle – GPC

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Who said business is boring? Food & Beverage Insider has the 411 on key industry moves affecting innovation and product development.

Danone acquires Follow Your Heart

Danone announced it is acquiring Earth Island, maker of Follow Your Heart brands and a leader in plant-based foods. With a proven track record of growth and innovation, and a long-term commitment to nutrition, sustainability and environmental stewardship, Earth Island represents a strong cultural fit with Danone and provides Danone with a unique opportunity to strengthen its plant-based business.

Founded in 1988 to meet the growing demand for Vegenaise at the Follow Your Heart Market & Café, Earth Island is a pioneer in the U.S. plant-based marketplace with a leading dairy-free cheese brand—offering shredded and sliced plant-based cheese, grated and shredded plant-based parmesan and cream cheese alternatives—and the iconic egg-free mayonnaise brand, Vegenaise. The company also produces plant-based sour cream, salad dressings and VeganEgg within its Follow Your Heart portfolio. As part of the Danone family, Earth Island will be able to accelerate the growth of the Follow Your Heart brand nationally and internationally alongside some of Danone’s plant-based brands including Alpro, Silk and So Delicious Dairy Free.

The deal will help Danone meet its goal of increasing plant-based sales worldwide from more than €2 billion in 2020 to €5 billion by 2025.

Brenntag, Monaghan Group enter exclusive distribution agreement

The Brenntag Food & Nutrition business unit in North America, part of the Brenntag Group, has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Monaghan Group in the U.S. and Canada. The agreement covers ingredients manufactured under the innovation arm of Monaghan Group, MBio, which has developed clean label ingredients derived from mushrooms. The ingredient line includes vitamin D mushroom powder, vitamin B12 mushroom powder and whole mushroom powder for use in food, beverage, nutraceutical and supplement industries.

“We are pleased to announce our new relationship with MBio as their exclusive distributor in the United States and Canada. MBio’s innovative products are a great addition to our product portfolio and allow us to provide differentiated value to our customers,” said Larry Davis, President of Nutrition Americas.

Kerry Group to acquire Biosearch Life

Kerry Group plc announced plans to acquire the Spanish company Biosearch Life, a leader in the nutraceutical and functional food sectors. The company has an extensive range of probiotics and is a recognized leader in premium probiotics obtained from human breast milk (Hereditum brand), scientifically backed innovative botanical extracts (Exxentia) and natural omega-3 (Eupoly-3 brand).

Nestlé sells Nestlé Waters North America brands for $4.3 billion

Nestlé S.A. is selling its regional spring water brands, purified water business and beverage delivery service in the U.S. and Canada to One Rock Capital Partners in partnership with Metropoulos & Co. for US$4.3 billion.

The sale includes the Poland Spring, Deer Park, Ozarka, Ice Mountain, Zephyrhills, Arrowhead, Pure Life and Splash brands in the U.S. and Canada, as well as the U.S. direct-to-consumer and office beverage delivery service ReadyRefresh. The company’s international premium brands including Perrier, S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna are not a part of the deal.

Commenting on the transaction, Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO, said: “We continue to transform our global waters business to best position it for long-term profitable growth. This sale enables us to create a more focused business around our international premium brands, local natural mineral waters and high-quality healthy hydration products. We will also boost our innovation and business development efforts to capture emerging consumer trends, such as functional water.”

Grain Processing Corp. completes distillery expansion

Grain Processing Corp. (GPC), a member of the Kent Corp. family of companies, announced on Feb. 22 that it has completed the accelerated expansion of its distillery in Iowa distillery and is now producing significantly more high-quality alcohol. The original start-up date was July 2021.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, GPC has supported the manufacture of millions of gallons of ethyl alcohol to support the production of essential products in the fight against the virus, including hand sanitizers, disinfectants, cleaners and surfactants, mouthwash, cough and cold medicines, and in the manufacture of active pharma ingredients, vaccine components and COVID-19 testing reagents.

Originally announced in May 2015, the multiyear, multimillion-dollar capital investment and expansion took thousands of engineering hours and leveraged the expertise of GPC’s workforce to increase the amount of value-added ingredients made from the kernel of corn.

“To produce alcohol to 1 ppm or less total impurities, there are no shortcuts,” said Pat Homoelle, president of GPC. “Our world-class quality sets us apart and is recognized by our trusted partners who depend upon us to consistently craft gallon after gallon for a range of products from beverage alcohol to pharmaceutical-grade applications.”

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