PepsiCo announced this morning that it has acquired energy bar maker Health Warrior Inc. of Richmond, Virginia. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Purchase-based PepsiCo said this is its first investment that will join The Hive, which it launched in August and focuses on growing emerging, smaller brands.
“We continue to position ourselves at the forefront of changing consumer preferences and trends,” said Al Carey, CEO of PepsiCo North America. “This acquisition helps us increase our presence in the nutrition bar category, which is an attractive growth space.”
Health Warrior was founded in 2010 by a group of college friends, Dan Gluck, Nick Morris and current CEO Shane Emmett, who wanted to make nutrient-dense foods more accessible to more Americans.
According to the Health Warrior website, “After reading the best-selling book ‘Born to Run,’ the guys discovered one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, chia seeds. The page-turner told of the Tarahumara Indians and their seemingly superhuman long-distance runs. The Tarahumara, like the Aztecs before them, were fueled by chia.”
The energy bars, which also include pumpkin-seed based products, are sold nationwide at outlets such as Target, Whole Foods, Wegmans and Sprouts. Earlier this month, Health Warrior introduced Protein Mug Muffins that contain 12 grams of plant-based protein from fava beans, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and sorghum.
“We’re fired up to join PepsiCo and continue to put nutritious options within reach of significantly more people,” Emmett said in a statement. “With a shared mission to help create healthy relationships between people and food, PepsiCo is the ideal partner to bring our nutrient-dense, plant-forward offerings to even more consumers and considerably accelerate Health Warrior’s growth. This is the whole reason we started the company.”
Emmett will continue to lead the business from its Virginia headquarters.
“This will enable us to continue building the Health Warrior brand at a deliberate and sustainable pace and to leverage its entrepreneurial expertise and talent to benefit our broader portfolio,” said Seth Kaufman, president of PepsiCo North America Nutrition, who oversees The Hive.