Hershey Acquires Specialty Jerky Company
The Hershey Company has agreed to purchase Krave Pure Foods, manufacturer of Krave Jerky, a specialty meat snack brand. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Michele G. Buck, president of The Hershey Company’s North American division, says the brand is a strong fit for the company’s snack portfolio. Buck added that Krave's focus on transparency and simple ingredients is in line with Hershey’s future strategic plans. Krave brought in $35 million in sales last year for its line of beef, turkey, pork, and chicken jerky products, available in such flavors as black cherry barbecue, basil citrus, and lemon garlic.
The move puts Hershey's faith in the growing premium jerky segment. Industry stats have put the value of the dried meat snack market at anywhere from $1 billion to $4 billion in 2014. According to IBISWorld, the meat snacks market has seen an annual growth rate of 4.5 percent since 2009. At last year's Summer Fancy Food Show in New York, jerky was identified as a top food trend, with new entrants seen flooding the market. Krave has risen up as a leader in the segment, and was named to Forbes 2015 "America’s Most Promising Companies" list.
While Hershey plans to partner with Krave's existing team, Krave will remain headquartered in Sonoma, Calif., and operate as a standalone business within the Hershey North America division. Krave founder and CEO Jonathan Sebastiani will continue to lead the business as president, reporting to Buck.
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