Terrafertil Nature’s Heart enters US natural channel through acquisition of Essential Living Foods

By Adi Menayang

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: Essential Living Foods
Photo: Essential Living Foods

Related tags Nutrition

Ecuador-based snack company Terrafertil Nature’s Heart has acquired California-based organic and vegan ‘superfood’ firm Essential Living Foods, marking the global company’s first step into the US market.

Specializing in trail mixes and dry fruits, Terrafertil’s acquisition adds supplements, smoothies, and other health food pantry staples to its portfolio. “[The acquisition] will magnify Essential Living Foods’ brand philosophies of ‘Food as Medicine’ and ‘Ancient Wisdom - Modern Nutrition,’”​ the company said in a press release.

With Essential Living Foods’ products distributed in Whole Foods Market, Costco, and other natural supermarkets across the US, the deal was part of Terrafertil’s strategy for global expansion.

Today, Terrafertil Nature’s Heart​ is one of the largest natural brands in Latin America. Its products can be found in 10 Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as the UK, Denmark, France, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait.

According to Euromonitor International data, Nature’s Heart is among the top 10 trail mix brands in Mexico in terms of market share, and one of the fastest growing superfood brands in the UK. Additionally, the Nature’s Heart brand is the largest global producer of dried ‘super fruit’ Goldenberries, with over 90% of the global production, according to the company.

The promising 'super' category

Aside from geographic expansion, the acquisition bolsters Terrafertil, founded by five entrepreneur friends back in 2005 who still have full ownership of the company today, as a top contender in the growing ‘better-for-you’ healthy and natural category.

Nutrient-dense snacks are on the rise—data from Mintel’s Global New Product Database revealed that there was a 30% increase globally of products with the claim ‘super’​ (such as superfood, superfruit, or supergrain) in calendar year 2015, and a 202% increase in the period between 2011 and 2015.

Though the term ‘super’ is mostly a marketing buzzword, consumers understand it to mean nutrient density or antioxidant levels, global food science analyst at Mintel Stephanie Matucci told FoodNavigator-USA in a previous interview.

This stands in contrast to another source of nutrients—fortified foods—which has been declining in popularity in recent years​, especially in developed countries. “Much of the appeal of superfoods comes from their natural benefits,” ​Matucci added.

By joining Terrafertil, Essential Living Foods gains “access to a more robust supply chain — sourcing from the source for its product line — while deepening its social impact on small farming communities around the world,” ​the company said.

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