PepsiCo makes first ‘HIVE’ investment acquiring Health Warrior
Described as a “business within a business” by former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, The PepsiCo HIVE is focused on growing emerging smaller brands.
“We continue to position ourselves at the forefront of changing consumer preferences and trends. This acquisition helps us increase our presence in the nutrition bar category, which is an attractive growth space,” Al Carey, CEO of PepsiCo North America, said.
Founded in 2011 by Dan Gluck and Nick Morris, Health Warrior built a strong e-commerce business through its own website and also gained brick & mortar distribution with big retailers such as Target, Giant, and Whole Foods along with independent natural health food stores.
In addition to its nutrition bars, the company launched a line of microwaveable protein mug muffins and recently expanded into the plant protein powder space.
Health Warrior CEO Shane Emmett previously told our sister site NutraIngredients-USA that it still believes the brand has a lot of market white space to fill in the US nutrition category: “We have a bunch of new flavors in the works, and distribution-wise, our business-to-consumer is rapidly growing.”
Commenting on the recent acquisition, Emmett said, "We're fired up to join PepsiCo and continue to put nutritious options within reach of significantly more people."
"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," he added.
Emmett will continue to lead the Health Warrior business from its current headquarters in Richmond, Virginia.
"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.
“Health Warrior is a nutrition-forward trailblazer that can provide great insight into high value categories and consumers while benefiting from our expertise and resources to bring plant-based nutrition to more people."
More than chia seeds
As its logo suggests – a human figure holding a spear – the brand appeals to Paleo followers as well as being Whole30- and keto-friendly with its core ingredient of chia seeds and other nutrient-dense, non-GMO, and gluten-free products.
In a 2016 interview with FoodNavigator-USA, Emmett said: “We’ve always been about more than chia seeds. Chia seeds are the paradigm of a nutrient dense whole food, but they are not the only one... Health Warrior’s ultimate goal is to transcend the grocery store shelf and become a lifestyle brand like Patagonia; we’d love to be a true umbrella brand for healthy nutrient dense whole foods from snacks to mini meals to eventually, who knows, owning our own line of gyms.”