US food firm gobbles up trendy meat snack brand

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

Thanasi's Duke brand was launched by self-confessed meat geek Justin Havlick
Thanasi's Duke brand was launched by self-confessed meat geek Justin Havlick

Related tags Chief executive officer Beef Pork Poultry

US company Conagra has agreed to acquire meat snacks brand Thanasi Foods LLC for an undisclosed sum. 

Chicago-based Conagra Brands claims to be one of America’s leading branded food companies and said the acquisition was a step forward as it moved to modernise its product portfolio.
Thanasi appears to fits the bill. Its fast growing, premium meat snacks brand Duke only uses fresh pork and chicken, increasingly trendy grass-fed beef and hardwood smoke pairings. All the meat snacks, which include steak strips and dried spicy sausages, are manufactured in small batches with marketing and packaging designed to be trendy.
The Thanasi takeover will also land Conagra the sunflower and pumpkin seeds snack brand Bigs LLC.

‘Exciting step’
This is another exciting step in our ongoing efforts to reshape our portfolio to be more premium and modern,​” said Sean Connolly, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Conagra Brands in a press statement.
These on-trend brands extend our meat snacks and seeds businesses into faster-growing, more premium segments. We are looking forward to working with the Thanasi team to grow the brands further and create value for our shareholders.​”
The deal is still subject to regulatory closing conditions and Conagra​ expect it to close in the summer of 2017.

‘Creativity and flavour’
Both brands will continue to operate out of Thanasi’s HQ in Boulder, Colorado.
What started 13 years ago as a simple passion for fire roasting seeds and slow smoking meats, has grown into two terrific brands that are recognized in households across the US,​” said Justin Havlick, founder and CEO at Thanasi.
This is an incredibly exciting time for our brands and our team, and we are looking forward to working with the Conagra Brands team on the next chapter in our journey to take Duke’s and Bigs to another level.​”
Havlick added: “The Conagra​ Brands team values our brand beliefs and is committed to continuing to use quality ingredients and the craft methods that deliver the creativity and flavour our consumers and fans love today.​”

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