Entrepreneur Plus - Short White
For Subscribers

Can Established Food Brands Stomach a Change in Customer Demands? When food giants acquire small brands, the results are a mixed bag.

By Corie Brown

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


While sales of legacy brands are stalling at America's leading packaged-foods companies, mission-driven "healthy" brands are boasting double-digit growth. But keeping up with soaring consumer demand is harder than it looks. While additive-free, non-GMO, organic brands are killing it at specialty-foods stores, these innovative companies often lack the financing, marketing muscle and global distribution to go head to head with traditional brands in supermarkets.

Increasingly, the solution is to sell out. Smaller brands are finding the support they need by forming what used to be considered unholy marriages with food conglomerates. In September, Niman Ranch, a natural pork, beef and lamb producer, became a division of poultry giant Perdue Farms. That followed the $775 million sale of Applegate Farms, a producer of "natural" deli meats, to Hormel Foods. A year ago, Berkeley, Calif.- based organic packaged-foods high-flyer Annie's Inc. sold for $820 million to General Mills.

Continue reading this article — and all of our other premium content with Entrepreneur+

Join the internet’s leading entrepreneur community! With your subscription you’ll get:

  • Access to all of our premium content and an ad-free experience
  • A complimentary subscription to Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Four free e-books a year and 20% off everything from our bookstore
  • Exclusive events with business celebrities and successful entrepreneurs

Editor's Pick

She's Been Coding Since Age 7 and Presented Her Life-Saving App to Tim Cook Last Year. Now 17, She's on Track to Solve Even Bigger Problems.
I Helped Grow 4 Unicorns Over 10 Years That Generated $18 Billion in Online Revenues. Here's What I've Learned.
Want to Break Bad Habits and Supercharge Your Business? Use This Technique.
Don't Have Any Clients But Need Customer Testimonials? Follow These 3 Tricks To Boost Your Rep.
Why Are Some Wines More Expensive Than Others? A Top Winemaker Gives a Full-Bodied Explanation.

Related Topics

Business News

The 'Barbie' Movie May Have Caused A Global Pink Paint Shortage

The long-anticipated film is slated to hit theaters later this summer.

Business News

California Woman Arrested For $60 Million Postal Service Scam

Lijuan "Angela" Chen faces two charges that each carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Growing a Business

How to Harness the Power of Data Analytics for Business Growth

To thrive in the competitive landscape, entrepreneurs must understand and leverage the power of data analytics.


The Return to Office Movement is Causing a Mental Health Crisis. Employers Are Part of The Problem — But They Can Be Part of The Solution.

Employee mental health substantially worsened with the return to office demands, and it's causing disengagement and low morale. The solution demanded by employees is the answer.

Latest News

9 Ways to Harness Entrepreneurial Skills in Medicine

Entrepreneurship and medicine may seem like divergent paths, but integrating entrepreneurial skills into medicine can lead to innovative solutions and professional fulfillment.