MCLEAN, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today Mars, Incorporated, a family-owned, global leader in confectionery, food, and pet care products and services, announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Kevin’s Natural Foods, a high-growth, nutritious meal company, to join its leading brands in the Mars Food & Nutrition segment.
Kevin’s makes chef-inspired sous-vide meals, sides, and sauces. Using whole foods and simple ingredients, it meets the needs of today’s busy consumers by helping them eat healthier food within minutes, without sacrificing on bold world flavors. Kevin’s has enjoyed double-digit growth since it was founded in 2019 and is now available across 17,000+ retail locations, from grocery stores and supermarkets, through to digital commerce. Kevin’s Natural Foods will operate as a standalone business within Mars Food & Nutrition, reporting to its President, Shaid Shah.
Kevin’s Natural Foods will play a key role in Mars Food & Nutrition’s ongoing journey to enable delicious, healthier eating to be part of consumers’ daily lives. Kevin’s products will complement Mars Food & Nutrition’s core portfolio and recent product innovations.
Shaid Shah, Global President, Mars Food & Nutrition said: “We are excited to welcome Kevin’s Natural Foods to the Mars Food & Nutrition family of businesses. We have been hugely inspired by Kevin’s, a business whose mission fits squarely with our purpose: Better Food Today. A Better World Tomorrow. Kevin’s products are of a very high quality, nutritious, and convenient, without compromising on flavor, and are enjoyed by an engaged and loyal customer base across North America. The Kevin’s Natural Foods team has delivered impressive growth since it was founded four years ago, and we look forward to drawing on our experience of nurturing and scaling founder-led brands to help bring their products to even more people.”
Co-founded by Dan Costa, Kelsie Costa-Olson, and Kevin McCray, Kevin’s Natural Foods was born out of Kevin’s desire to be healthier himself, as well as to help other people eat well. Founded in 2019, the company is headquartered in Modesto, California, and has approximately 180 employees, with products currently sold in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Mexico.
Kevin McCray, President and Co-Founder of Kevin’s Natural Foods, stated: “Mars Food & Nutrition shares our vision and passion for the role food plays in people’s lives. We founded Kevin’s with the mission to empower even the busiest people to eat nutritious, great tasting meals in minutes. Joining the Mars Food & Nutrition portfolio of brands will allow us to accelerate the development of more product innovations and support our mission of bringing Kevin’s to more consumers across markets.”
“As a standalone business within Mars Food & Nutrition, we’ll be able to maintain the entrepreneurial spirit and authenticity of our brand while getting the support and capabilities to continue our long-term growth journey. It’s a tremendous milestone for Kevin’s Natural Foods and our team, and we’re excited for what’s ahead,” Dan Costa, CEO and Co-Founder of Kevin’s, added.
This acquisition includes an exit of Kevin’s minority partners, TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P., an international investment management firm, and NewRoad Capital Partners.
The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and expected to close in the third quarter of 2023. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Citi served as Mars’ financial advisor, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Covington & Burling, and ArentFox Schiff acted as Mars’ legal advisors.
Wells Fargo Securities served as Kevin’s Natural Foods’ exclusive financial advisor, and Sheppard Mullin acted as Kevin’s Natural Foods’ legal advisor.
About Mars, Incorporated
For more than a century, Mars, Incorporated has been driven by the belief that the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. This common purpose unites our 140,000+ Associates. It is at the center of who we are as a global, family-owned business, and it fuels how we are transforming, innovating, and evolving to make a positive impact on the world.
Every year, our diverse and expanding portfolio of quality confectionery, food, and pet care products and services delight millions of people and supports millions of pets. With around $48 billion in annual sales, we produce some of the world’s best-loved brands including Ben’s Original™, Masterfoods®, DOLMIO®, CESAR®, CocoaVia®, DOVE®, EXTRA®, KIND®, M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, and WHISKAS®. We are creating a better world for pets through nutrition, breakthrough programs in diagnostics, wearable health monitoring, DNA testing, pet welfare, and comprehensive veterinary care with AniCura, BANFIELD™, BLUEPEARL™, Linnaeus, and VCA™.
We know we can only be truly successful if our partners and the communities in which we operate prosper. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency, and Freedom – inspire our Associates to act every day to help create a better world tomorrow in which the planet, its people, and pets can thrive.
Mars Food & Nutrition is a segment of Mars, Incorporated with 2,000 Associates across 30 countries. It has some of the world’s leading food brands: Ben’s Original™, Masterfoods®, SEEDS OF CHANGE®, Tasty Bite®, foodspring™, and DOLMIO®.
For more information about Mars, please visit www.mars.com.
About Kevin’s Natural Foods
Kevin’s Natural Foods is a line of healthy entrées, sides, and sauces on a mission to make clean eating taste delicious while seamlessly fitting into any lifestyle. Co-founded by Kevin McCray, who battled a severe auto-immune disorder for years and found that nothing helped consistently until he discovered a paleo-friendly diet— Kevin’s Natural Foods was born from his desire to help others eat healthier. Kevin’s flavorful, sous-vide entrées and signature Paleo, Keto and Gluten-Free certified sauces allow home chefs to ‘Hack Healthy’ by preparing delicious meals in five minutes. With strict nutritious standards, entrees and sauces contain zero refined sugar, artificial ingredients, grains, soy, antibiotics or hormones. Available online at kevinsnaturalfoods.com, on the shelves of coveted grocery retailers like Whole Foods, Costco, Target, Publix, Albertsons and through Amazon and the company’s own website. Kevin’s Natural Foods is dedicated to clean eating, and a clean planet and has achieved the distinction as a Certified B Corporation™. A true market disruptor, Kevin’s is the first clean refrigerated entrée brand, and challenges the notion that proper nutrition can’t be as delicious as it is healthy.